Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at UT focusing on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns. She is active with Austin Young Democrats and is UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.
After losing races for Governor and Attorney General, the Virginia GOP has decided to bring in an expert on not blowing it in high-profile elections: our own Rick Perry.
Unfortunately, this weekend's bad weather kept Rick Perry from attending, which is probably the first lucky break the Virginia GOP has gotten all year.
The Republican Party's loss in the Virginia Governor's race is the first time in over four decades that the party not in control of the White House failed to win the year after a Presidential election. It's also the first time since the 19th century that any political party failed to win two consecutive terms in the Governor's mansion. (The VA Governor is limited to one term.)
Most pundits argue that it was the VA GOP candidates' extremist views on women's health, voting rights, and other issues that drove voters to elect Democrats instead.
So it's no wonder that the brain trust at the VA GOP has decided to bring in someone known for his astute political analysis and impressive intellectual feats: Rick "I Can't Remember Three Things" Perry.
Below the jump, read more about how Rick Perry is the exact kind of Republican that Virginia voters just rejected.
The Affordable Care Act is already making it possible for millions of uninsured Americans to access quality, affordable healthcare. This law will specifically benefit those of us in Texas, where we have the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation. That's why it's so important that we spread the word and help folks sign up.
It will also greatly benefit individuals under 35 years of age, who often have tenuous insurance situations -- insured through school or work for awhile, or perhaps on our parents' plans, but often changing circumstances enough that it can be tough to stay covered consistently.
The Affordable Care Act helps change all of that, and the previsions in the bill -- no more denials for pre-existing conditions or gaps in coverage, free preventative and contraceptive care, and no more caps on lifetime coverage.
There's a lot in the Affordable Care Act, but you don't have to take my word for it. Last week, I was lucky enough to watch the President address the White House Youth Summit about what the ACA does for young people. Watch:
We're excited to break some big news from EMILY's List: today they're announcing their endorsement of Senator Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor!
This endorsement is actually a pretty big deal: it comes with political clout, and the potential of strong financial support. EMILY's list works hard for its endorsed candidates.
The endorsement is also a sign that Senator Leticia Van de Putte is viewed as a serious contender in the race, and will have the support she needs to campaign hard. Not every female candidate is formally endorsed by EMILY's List -- it's a big early score for the Senator, and a sign that our all-female top of the ticket will have serious support.
It's also a reminder not to count Van de Putte out. The four Republican candidates for Lite Gov are a collection of extremist right-wing ideologues. They all want to repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of US Senators. The four Republicans running are virulently anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant -- basically, anti-anyone who doesn't vote in a Republican primary run-off.
EMILY's List will be able to help amplify the contrast between Senator Van de Putte's record of leadership on issues affecting veterans, families, and students, and the extremists vying to face her in the general election.
Read more about why this is important below the jump, and check out the statement from EMILY's List on the endorsement!
The purported candidates I am hearing about -- and nope, I don't know their names but my understanding is that should they file, they will add even more regional diversity to our already strong ticket -- will also help Democrats field what may be our most robust statewide ticket since 2002. Whoever runs will be challenging an incumbent Republican.
Below the jump, read about why these races matter -- especially to all women working in Texas.
Last week, we reported that former State Representative Solomon Ortiz Jr. has been exploring a run for Congress -- for CD-27, to be exact, the district that his father held for 27 years.
Ortiz Sr. lost to Blake "Ducky Pajamas" Farenthold in 2010, another victim to the Tea Party wave and poor organizing in Nueces County. His son, Ortiz Jr., was defeated by Raul Torres in 2010, who elected not to run again when his district was drawn out from underneath him.
Now, Ortiz Jr. is exploring a run for CD-27. Not only is he the strongest candidate Democrats could possibly field in the race, his candidacy would be crucial to expanding organizing in Nueces County and helping elect Democrats up and down the ballot.
Below the jump, read more about why Solomon Ortiz Jr. needs to get in the race for CD-27.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation -- 28.8%.
That statistic is a moral abomination, but the silver lining is that President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act has the potential to make a huge impact on providing Texans with access to quality, affordable health insurance and health care.
Only one thing stands in the way of the 4.8 million uninsured Texans -- Rick Perry and the Republican Legislature, who have blocked efforts to expand Medicaid in Texas.
Today, we're pleased to publish an op-ed from State Representative Mary Gonzalez, which emphasizes the opportunity available to Texas families.
She writes, "Texans deserve better. It is time for our elected leaders to stop being obstructionists of the Affordable Care Act and to expand Medicaid for over a million other uninsured people."
Read Mary Gonzalez's op-ed in full below the jump.
Here's a story that might warm your heart on this chilly winter morning: two young girls from Waco are trying to dance their feet all the way to New York City!
Well, not literally. But with your help, they might do a little jig in the airport.
Jymee and Brandyn are two young girls from Waco who love to dance. The girls have never left Texas, and they dream of one day dancing on the great white way in New York City.
Their dance class was accepted into a very competitive program in New York City. The rest of the class is going, but their Mom can't afford the expensive trip -- she had to take a second job just to pay the bills. The girls have already held bake sales and car washes -- very entrepreneurial, girls! -- but they need help to raise the rest.
A friend of the girls started an IndieGogo campaign to raise the money for the trip. Here's the video they made:
I realize that systematically we can't help every kid in Texas achieve their dreams through IndieGogo or Kickstarter -- we need new progressive leadership in Texas to make sure that all families can afford to help their kids' dreams come true.
Today is a sad day in American history, and a particularly somber one for Texas Democrats. On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Much has been written of late about Kennedy's legacy. It is worth noting that many of the issues of the day during Kennedy's administration are still relevant today: access to the ballot box, basic civil rights and equality, and opportunity for all Americans.
To commemorate this day, we're pleased to be able to share the reflections of Congressman Marc Veasey, who represents portions of Dallas and Tarrant counties in the US House of Representatives.
Below the jump, read Congressman Veasey's words about how members of Congress can continue to uphold JFK's legacy today.
East Texas's leading embarrassment Steve Stockman will have to relocate his campaign office after city officials and the fire marshall shut down the former motorcycle shop where workers and volunteers have apparently been sleeping since early 2012.
The headquarters had been housed since early 2012 in a former motorcycle shop along the Gulf Freeway. Campaign staffers and volunteers had been both working and sleeping there, even though the commercial building was considered unsafe for human habitation, according to Webster city records and an interview with assistant fire marshal Warren Chappell.
Officials found 14 fire code violations and ordered the office closed and its electricity shut off on Nov. 7, fire department records show. No one had obtained the necessary permit for the campaign to legally occupy the pale yellow two-story metal building along a feeder road on the freeway, wedged between a spa dealership and a strip mall, building department records show.
This government overreach must be stopped! If Steve Stockman cannot imperil the lives of his own campaign staff and volunteers and create a half-way house for the all-the-way ideologically insane, we cannot be free!