The resurgence of the Democratic Party has never been more clear than now. With 8 days until the election, the House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) has spent $1,000,000 since July 1 to support Democrats running for election and re-election to the Texas House.
When the HDCC started in 2004, it had one contract employee, a few thousand dollars in the bank and a 26 seat deficit in numbers. No one imagined taking back the House in 3 election cycles was remotely possible. Because of the numbers and a punitive redistricting map, we thought a 10 year plan was optimistic, and only hopelessly delusional optimists thought about a majority by 2009 (apologies to Lon).
What started initially as a simple idea to form a PAC where House Democrats could help fellow Democratic members has grown to become one of the most trusted, respected and impressive political operations in Texas. You should be proud to be part of that effort.
The truth of the matter is HDCC is one of the biggest reasons why we are on the brink of taking back the Texas House. They have committed to working with newly elected Democrats and guide them through the process. They have had laser focus before and during elections to win swing seats. All the headaches Tom Craddick and Terry Keel have on a daily basis, are because of the HDCC and it's leaders.
While Tom Craddick has lost control of his 26-seat majority in his tenure as Speaker of the House, Jim Dunnam, Pete Gallego, and Garnet Coleman have picked up seats every cycle since creating the HDCC.
One State Republican Executive Committee Member, Mark McCraig said in a recent editorial, “What was once a 26-seat Republican majority in 2003 has dwindled to an eight-seat majority today, and that number will almost certainly shrink again this year.”
McCraig goes one step further in his editorial in the Stateman:
An ethical cloud also surrounds Craddick because of his close ties to lobbyists. Last year, Craddick and a prominent lobbyist were sued by a tour company after a dispute over a fishing trip to Brazil that Craddick and the lobbyist had canceled. Financial disclosure forms filed by Craddick also show a business relationship with a lobbyist whose identity he refuses to disclose. In light of recent scandals, grass-roots Republicans must demand that their leaders act in a manner that is beyond reproach.
In nearly 40 years in the Legislature, Craddick helped build the Republican Party and the conservative movement in Texas. Unfortunately, his recent actions have cast a shadow on years of public service, and he must recognize that the best way to promote the Republican Party and the conservative values he claims to represent is to allow a new speaker to serve.
Rather than having a Tom Craddick appointed successor, it is time to have a Democrat lead the House.
As the letter points out:
One million dollars is a heck of a lot of money – particularly in the face of our opposition. It is the tangible result of tireless work done by Texas Democrats who want to restore a sense of balance to the Texas House. You should know that the confidence shown us by donors is really a direct result of our Caucus unity demonstrated session after session in the face of adversity. They saw us fighting the good fight, persevering in the face of overwhelming odds and standing tall for the people of Texas. Our unity of voice and effort has not been in vain.
In a point of personal privilege, I want to thank Rep. Dunnam, Rep. Gallego, Rep. Coleman, and the hard working staff at HDCC for everything y'all have done this year and the harder ones before.
That being said, we have one week left, let's take back the House today!
To read the full letter from Jim Dunnam, Pete Gallego, and Garnet Coleman to the Democratic Caucus, click here (warning it is a pdf).