|As with the first two posts, my questions are in bold and underlined. The rest is Hinojosa in his own words. I've added some bold for emphasis.
It's great to know that you have been on the DNC with Tim Kaine, he's really done some great things for the party. What did you learn from watching Kaine and working with him on the DNC that you want to bring to Texas?
"One of the things I have learned is that they do run very strong strong coordinated campaigns across the country. They coordinate with the DGA, DSCC, DCCC and Presidential campaign. They're working in tandem, everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The money and efforts being spent are are all going in the same direction. I think it's critical that the party -- as much as it can influence this issue -- run coordinated campaigns. If everyone is on the same page, then people aren't going in different directions. You're not throwing money out there and stumbling over each other during elections.
I've learned how to raise money, how to showcase leadership, I believe that they have the right approach to exposing Democratic Party throughout country by moving DNC meetings around. They foster a family relationship within DNC -- everybody knows everybody. There's 400 of us nationally, 80 on the executive committee. They make you feel part of a family. Every DNC meeting has a state party chair's meeting, and it's a big event. We're a family, and we have to act like a family.
I really believe that meetings need to be meaningful. Let's have meetings in Houston, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, Lubbock. The Democratic Party needs to show people that we are a party for the entire state of Texas, and have events where we bring everybody together. Let's start fostering this family relationship in the party. It isn't easy, it's complicated, it may be expensive, but it makes us grow stronger as a party. We have our primaries and we have our fights, but at the end of the day we're a family. We have to work to help each other, strengthen each individual component of the Democratic Party every day.
These meetings have to be about fostering that relationship. At the end of the day, all of us, individually or together, are a thousand times better than those other guys that are destroying the state and our country. It hurts our families, it hurts the people we care about, it hurts the people we've been fighting about all of our lives when the Republicans are in office.
Ann Richards, when she was running for the Governor's office, she and I were in Corpus Christi two days out from the election. I had been campaigning since March, and Ann Richards had been campaigning for a lot longer. She gets up there to the microphone, and she talks about when she ran for State Treasurer, and going to a rally in La Joya at a senior citizen center and handing out Ann Richards masks because they were out of cards, two days out from that election.
This rally that I was at with her was also two days out from the  election. She was losing, she was down in the polls, but everyone thought she could win. She gets up there, and she was exhausted. She talks about being at the rally in La Joya, where she saw this little old lady sitting on the side of the road in her house dress with her Ann Richards mask on.
And Ann talks about how she was talking with Lena Guerrero about political strategies and she stops, and she looks at this little old lady and she says, 'you know, this little old lady isn't thinking about political strategies, she's thinking about the things everyday families think about. Whether or not she's going to have a roof over her head or healthcare that she needs. Whether her kids are going to have jobs that pay decent wages and provide benefits. Whether her grandchildren will be able to get an education or make it to college. She's depending upon us not to fail, not to let her down. We must not fail her.'
At the end of the day, that's what it's all about. When we don't figure these things out the right way -- it's the people that we fight for that get hurt."
In case you missed it, Read part I of our conversation here, and read part II here.
Ed. Note: That wraps it up!
I really appreciate Judge Hinojosa taking the time to talk at length about his ideas, why he wants to serve as State Chair, and what he would do if elected to the position. It's clear that Hinojosa has a strong viewpoint on what the TDP needs to do to make our party compelling and make our candidates competitive at all levels of the ballot, and it revolves around and exciting and turnout out the base. Without a strong apparatus to support statewide turnout, it will be extremely difficult for Democrats to win statewide races in Presidential or Gubernatorial cycles. While we may not be able to get there this cycle -- heck, we might not get there next cycle either -- clearly we need to start building the base and capitalizing on the natural demographic and geographical strengths that we have.
During the interview, I asked Hinojosa, "why can't we get to the point where we can get every Democrat on the ballot to 44, 45 percent, and they just have to get themselves a little bit more?" He replied, "I think we have the ability to get 51% if we get our base out." Our state party needs to start building towards that point where all of our statewide candidates can win just on the back of strong base turnout. Again, it's going to be a process, but there's no reason not to start aggressive pursuing the tactics and strategies that will get us there.
It's worth noting that Texas, with our now 36 Congressional seats and 36 electoral college votes, is the last big state, population wise, to stick with the Republicans. When Texas becomes a swing state, it will suck up millions of Republican dollars to hold. When Texas finally realizes our demographic destiny and returns to Blue, it can break the back of the Republican Party in the United States, rendering them unable to win the Presidency and making it a lot harder for them to capture majorities in the House and Senate as well. On a Gubernatorial and Legislative level, once Democrats retake our top statewide positions and reclaim majorities in the State House, we can not only stop the worst abuses of Rick Perry's Republican regime, but actually enact policies that will help all Texans succeed and achieve their potential together.
Talking to Hinojosa, it's clear that he's put a lot of thought into this, and knows what kind of task lies ahead of him, should he be elected as TDP's next chair. If he can do even half of it, it will be a great step forward for the party. If he can do all of it and more, he can play a key role in setting us on a path to winning statewide elections in the next 10 years.