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Texas Republican Party's 2014 Platform Supports Gay 'Reparative Therapy'

by: Omar Araiza

Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Coming out can be one of the most difficult of processes for someone who is LGBT to go through. It is a deeply personal and defining moment in life -- an act that unifies LGBT people as a community. But before being able to take this very important step, individuals who are LGBT must first come to terms with who they are and accept themselves unconditionally; often despite what society has taught us about being gay.

Texas Republicans don't seem to sympathize with this harsh reality LGBT people must face. In fact, the party's new 2014 platform promotes gay "reparative therapy" for all those "seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle."

Even in this day and age, as the country swiftly advances towards equality for all, Texas Republicans are trying their hardest to outdo themselves in their homophobic political rhetoric.

Read what is stated in their new platform below the jump.

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Dallas County's Democratic Primary Runoff, 2014 Edition

by: jvansickle

Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:43 AM CDT

(Thanks to James Van Sickle for this great guest post! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

On May 27th the Primary Election Season will come to a close.  

While the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns are firmly underway, there are a few Primary races still in contention.  In this article, I am focusing on just the Democratic Primary races that are ongoing in Dallas County.

Below the jump, catch up on run-offs for the Legislature, Justice of the Peace, and Constable here in Dallas.

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It's Time for a Sobriety Center in Travis County

by: Andy Brown

Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:33 PM CST

Did you know that there is a better way to address mental and behavior health in Travis County?  I recently took trips to Houston and San Antonio to see first-hand how these Texas cities are mitigating the high cost of public intoxication arrests-many of which involve the homeless or mentally ill.

Accompanying me on these trips were United Way and Caritas board member Dan Graham, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition executive director Ana Correa, Austin Interfaith Leader Ofelia Zapata, Austin/Travis County EMS Association president Tony Marquardt, and Ending Community Homelessness Coalition Board Member Tim League, -all of whom, like me, are passionate about this matter.

More below the jump.

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It's Time to Invest in Travis County!

by: Ramey Ko

Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:19 PM CST

(Thanks also to Travis County Treasurer candidate and long-time BOR community member Ramey Ko for taking the time to share his thoughts.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

After much thoughtful consideration and encouragement from activists and community leaders across the county, I am excited to announce that I have officially filed to run for the office of Travis County Treasurer. I have had the privilege of serving my community in a variety of ways, and I hope to take this opportunity to take that service to the next level. As an attorney, I served victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Texas Advocacy Project. More recently, I served as an Associate Judge of the Austin Municipal Court and as a lecturer at the University of Texas. As a member of the Austin Public Safety Commission, I have worked on budget and policy issues concerning police, fire, and emergency medical services.

I am running for Treasurer to bring Travis County finances back to the people. I am running because I want to ensure that the office of the Treasurer serves as the strong steward of taxpayer dollars it was intended to be and restore the appropriate balance to county government. As Treasurer, I will work to make certain that our shared investments reflect our most deeply held values of fairness, equity, and empowerment.

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Congressional Republicans Plan To Obstruct Their Way To A Senate Majority

by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

Texas Congressman Pete Session told Roll Call, "Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate." That pretty much sums up what many even casual political observers have noticed about the GOP Congress -- their only goal is to see the President and his party fail.

Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly blame Congressional Republicans for the partial shutdown of the federal government which they also viewed quite negatively. Even as their popularity wanes, Republicans continue to dig in their heels in obstruction.  

Ironically that may not be the worst news for Democrats as they continue to lead in the generic Congressional ballot by better than 6%. In 2010 when the Tea Party wave crashed Congress, Republicans led the same poll by nearly 10%. Currently the partisan makeup of the House has Republicans leading by 31 of the 434 seats, meaning Democrats would need a pick up of 17 to take back the House.

Click below the jump to see what chance Republicans actually have to take back the US Senate in 2014...

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Awakening The Sleeping Giant: Why Latinos Should Back Wendy Davis For Governor of Texas in 2014

by: Omar Araiza

Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:45 AM CDT

Senator Wendy Davis' announcement to run for Governor of Texas in 2014 has sparked a renewed sense of life and energy to the Texas Democratic Party. Millions of people from across the state and country are keeping a close-eye on Texas for that first glimpse of the state's long -- but seemingly inevitable -- journey to blue.

Davis is a candidate with a personal history of overcoming great obstacles that has proven, time and again, underestimating her is a big mistake.

Davis has championed previous races by assembling large voting coalitions of Hispanics, African-Americans, moderate Republicans and women voters. Groups of voters that can be convinced once again to go out and support her come November of next year.

Davis, a single mom who worked her way up from a trailer park to make it through Harvard Law School, has a large populace appeal. Her commitment to overcoming poverty by means of hard work and education is a personal story Hispanics in Texas -- the state's largest ethnic minority and fastest growing demographic -- understand very intimately. Her commitment to education, access to healthcare, and equal economic opportunity and pay for all, are issues that directly affect and matter to Hispanics.

Considering the massive energy, previous successful minority outreach and populace appeal behind her: Is Wendy Davis the candidate that can finally awaken the sleeping giant that is the Latino vote in Texas?

Read more below the jump.

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2014 Democratic Primary: Dallas County Primer

by: jvansickle

Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM CDT

(Thanks to James Van Sickle for this primer on what's on the (very long) ballot in Dallas this cycle! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Since the Labor Day Picnic held by Dallas Democrats, campaign season has slowly gotten underway.  

As mentioned in previous articles, all countywide offices in the Dallas are held by Democrats.  As we prepare a list of contested races, this article is to discuss the countywide and other down ballots races in the Democratic Primary.  I will follow-up with later articles discussing other races affecting Dallas County and their candidates.

Below the jump, read up on who's running and learn about the most important race that wasn't....

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Check Out The Current AWESOME Cover of Texas Monthly

by: Ben Sherman

Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM CDT

This month, turning Texas blue is front and center on our state's famous monthly magazine. The cover, a striking image of three Democratic Texas stars, is undoubtably the best since the classic Ann "White Hot Mama" Richards one in 1992.

Check it out below the jump.


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South Forward Is Bringing Progress to Old Dixie

by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 05:03 PM CDT

South Forward is a new 501(c)4 federal PAC that is focused on electing Democrats across the South from Texas to Florida and up to West Virginia. They held a packed pow wow lunch at Netroots Nation to get the progressive community across the country aware of their efforts. For such a new group they have already put together an impressive portfolio of press hits and electoral impact.

While groups like Battleground Texas focus on the long game and registering voters, South Forward has jumped straight into the fray with political attack ads. No race is too small as they scout competitive races from congress to city council. Their 2013 focus will be on candidate recruitment and campaign staff training in preparation for 2014 and beyond. So far they have not taken a hard line on whether or not they will be involved in primary battles but have not completely ruled out that possibility where faux progressives use the "D" label. Specifically though, South Forward is about electing progressives and not getting mired in the determination of those issues. As we were told by a South Forward representative they, "are not a think tank."

Their most high profile involvement so far has been to back Democratic congressional candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch with ads against former disgraced South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Of course this was always a long shot because that district was heavily Republican and only "competitive" due to the nature of his scandal and the embarrassment he brought upon his state. However, they have already met some success in Mississippi municipal elections. Progressives are well aware that the Republican tide that took over over the South wasn't a fluke. Republicans started decades ago recruiting candidates at the local level from city council to school board and South Forward is taking the same approach for Democrats. Perhaps that is the most exciting aspect of their plan since those seats are often launching pads and training grounds for future county and state legislative office holders.

The demographic changes occurring across old Dixie are not lost on South Forward either. According to their 2013 plan they will focus, "specifically on women, African American and Latino candidates and campaign managers and staff."

Former DNC Chair Don Fowler had this to say in a letter of support for South Forward:

"We can't have a true national party, though, if we are willing to write off an entire region of the country just because it's more difficult to win elections there. Demographically, the South is changing. Growing Hispanic populations in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas,Oklahoma, North Carolina and South Carolina will make it ever more possible for Democrats to be competitive, but we can't just depend upon demographic and population shifts to hand Democrats key victories."

You can see the first of many ads to come by South Forward below the jump...

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George W. Bush's Nephew Finally Announces for Land Commissioner

by: Phillip Martin

Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM CDT

Progress Texas released the following on George P.'s announcement for Land Commissioner - he will have to follow his family legacy of No Child Left Behind and Vouchers in his quest to oversee the Permanent School Fund.
(TEXAS) - Today, President George W. Bush's nephew, George P. Bush, announced that, after much deliberation among his family about which statewide office he would deem worthy of his candidacy, he would take his unique Bush-related talents to the office of State Land Commissioner. Among its many duties, the Land Commissioner's office oversees investments made to the Permanent School Fund.

Former Governor Jeb Bush's son has been toying with running for office for months, visiting donors in other states - including Georgia and California - to ask what millionaires from outside of Texas think he should run for in Texas. To date, he has raised millions from his family's network of donors to run for office just because his last name is Bush.

Following in the footsteps of his uncle's No Child Left Behind agenda (President George W. Bush) and his father's school voucher schemes (former Florida Governor Jeb Bush), the grandson of former President George H. W. Bush told the Associated Press that he would run for Land Commissioner.

The following is a statement from Progress Texas Executive Director Matt Glazer:
    "Serving in elected office is a privilege, not a birthright. George Bush must go through the same public screening as any other candidate.

    "Polls show that Texans strongly reject the standardized testing and privatization policies his family has promoted. Unless George Bush can prove he's not just another Bush, his candidacy is likely to be met with strong opposition across the state."
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