Photo Essay: Fight 'em till hell freezes over…

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….then fight em on the ice.

This is the campaign theme for David Van Os.

There was a large number of bloggers working the convention in many areas, not just blogging.

I crashed a few parties during the Texas Democratic Convention and took almost 150 high quality pictures including more then a few backstage shots. I authorize the use of these photo's for bloggers, candidates, and campaigns. Click the thumbnail, then download the high quality versions for best results.

This is a video record of my time at the convention.

Warning: Video heavy diary below!The intro photo seems to have been edited out of this post here is Snarko's David Van Os car. Repainted from it's incarnation as a Kucinich mobile.

First I want to direct everyone to the Texas Democrats youtube page where they have posted most of the convention speeches, including General Wesley Clark's keynote address Friday evening.

I started my weekend with a get together breakfast thanks to Rachel Van Os that was attended by TxSharon and a the hardest working team at the convention.

On the way to the Convention Center we passed Fred Head's (Comptroller General) “broke down bus.” which was parked in front of the main entrance to the convention center.

We went to the Exhibition Hall and started setting up David Van Os and Hank Gilbert's shared booth.

Right accross from there I caught VaLinda Hathcox (Land Commisioner) setting up Dale Henry's (Railroad Commisioner) booth, which she shared with him.

This was “statewides row” that included Barbara Radnofsky's (Senate) space. Undoudtedly the most popular area of the exhibition hall since David, Hank, Dale, and VaLinda spent a lot of their time there. Maria Louisa spent her spare time there also.

Behind David and Hank's booth Net Neutrality advocate Tim Barnwell (TX-26) had a well set up booth.

David and Hanks space was the best set up booth in the hall thanks to Rachel and Faith Chatham (far left).

I came across Annatopia while she was live blogging on the convention floor.

Anna truly crashed the gate by being elected to the Resolutions Committee for the Party.

Friday was spent bouncing in and out of the caucus' while assisting Maria Louisa Alvarado (Lt. Governor).

I was tasked with leading Maria to the various caucuses she wanted to attend and informing the leaders that she was their to speak with them.

Almost every caucus allowed her to speak at the first opportunity.

I also got some pic's of Hank Gilbert (Agriculture Commissioner)

and VaLinda Hathcox (Land Commisioner)

Saturday morning I passed out campaign material for Maria Louisa at the major caucuses that were held that morning prior to going backstage where I put on my photographer hat and became photographer for the down ballot statewide candidates.

I got some excellent pictures of the speeches and behind the scene pic's of a few prominent individuals.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) with Maria Louisa.

  Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) with Maria Louisa.

I heard Chet Edwards announced so I went out before the stage for some pic's of his speech.

After the Congressional slate Maria Louisa Alvarado gave an excellent speech which seemed to surprise the crowd who new little about her.

I made the suggestion that Maria get out from behind the podium so a microphone was set up, just a little late though.

Former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox introduced David Van Os.

David showed why he is a crowd favorite with an impassioned speech

which wowed the crowd.

Even though the leadership failed to bring Bush to task for the last 12 years, the crowd's reaction to David proved that the delegates were ready to.

Fred Head (Comptroller) was joined on stage by his wife Marsha.

Hank Gilbert's son's were next on stage to introduce their father.

Look out for screaming Republicans who don't believe that Democrats should be allowed to share the flag.

Hank's speech was extremely well received.

VaLinda Hathcox was slated to be up next, but the leadership pulled some parliamentary slight of hand and spent most of the next 5 hours on the Party Chair election. VaLinda never made it back to the stage.

David Van Os showed his interest in the Party as a whole by attending the convention as a spectator.

Here is another candid shot of David setting behind Annatopia in some empty seats on Bloggers row.

I spent that period of time over on the press tables which were set up because of the bloggers.”


This was the first time the convention center has set up tables in the front rows on the floor.
Bloggers were not only given press credentials, they were also allowed free access to the wireless network which would have cost $24 dollars a day otherwise.

PDiddie was there along with Annatopia.

Bill Howell of Stout Dem Blog spent more time on the floor then any other blogger there. Give him some kudos in the form of a blogswarm on his site.

At 4:45 Dale Henry (Railroad Commissioner) finally got to the stage before a diminished crowd.

Justice Bob Gammage (Gubernatorial primary candidate) gave an excellent introduction

for Judge Bill Moody. (Tx. Supreme Court).

  J. R. Molina was the last statewide candidate to speak.

  These three were included in the same video on the TXDemocrats youtube site.

I truly enjoyed the weekend even though my body is no longer designed for spending three days in continuous movement and activity. This is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee with me backstage.

My observations showed a few problems with how the convention was handled. The battle between Glen Maxey and Boyd Richie overshadowed the entire convention. The Party's job should be the election of our entire slate of candidates but there was way to much money and energy invested in an inner party battle that should have been used to promote the Party, our ideals, and especially our candidates. The battle wasn't the problem, the investment was.


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  1. A Few Points.
    I promised there would be a blogswarm on Stout Dem Blog, so click it to show your appreciation for Bill's dedication. He stayed on the Convention floor and blogged longer then anyone else.

    Some of the down ballot candidates have no web presence and I will be working on a biographical post for them  next.

    I had problems with the URL's on Yahoo's photo page changing after posting previous diaries. Let's see if Photoshop can handle this.

    • Great Job Tom
      YOu were a trooper from before the first bell til the last thing was packed to remove it from the exhibit hall.
      Thank you!
      Thank you!
      Thank you!

  2. Party business…
    From a comment in another thread by Ken Molberg:

    Our rules now provide that the only “official” business is the election of State Party Officers, SDEC, DNC, and National Delegates, and deal with the committees on Credentials, Nominations, Rules, Platform and Resolutions, etc.  We must accomplish that, both from a rules standpoint and a legal standpoint.

    The fact is, while some may feel the State Chair's race wasn't important, it was important to a great deal of delegates in attendance. As Ken pointed out in this comment, accommodating for both these necessary elections and promoting our statewide candidates is difficult under such a short amount of time. With the two ballots for Chair's race, and the extra 40 minutes taken Fri. night for the election of the Convention Chair, it was hard to find time to get a great deal of things completed.

    • Well I guess if we want to keep on
      doing the same old bullshit year after year after year and never getting anywhere…

      Just saying…take a different road.

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