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Username: Robert Ryland
PersonId: 2753
Created: Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 11:57 AM CST
Robert Ryland's RSS Feed
Email: rcryland- at <del>gmail</del>dot-com


A Case for Van de Putte for Governor


by: Robert Ryland

Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 02:39 AM CST

(Here's an excellent diary from one of our regular readers -- and a Bastrop precinct chair. I'll also let everyone know, in case you haven't, that you can join the Facebook group "Draft Leticia Van de Putte for Governor" if you want to show your support. - promoted by Phillip Martin)

(Fair disclosure: I am a partisan hack, precinct chair, yellowdog and all-around liberal tool from Bastrop County...)

Que es esto? Phillip's recent post floating Sen. Leticia Van de Putte as a gubernatorial possibility made me pause in uffish thought for awhile today.   While I'd pondered her as a statewide before, it never really occurred to me to put her at the top of the list, but the post made me dig a little deeper and do some cipherin' (as my grandfather used to say).

My first thought was, damn that's a great media piece in the SA Current to start things off. Somebody in her camp has their act together - all the way down to the photos, which make her look tall and commanding and serious (as opposed to short and matronly), without sacrificing her femininity.  I like where this is going, PR-wise, if nothing else.

Then I thought some more, going down my mental list of vital candidate criteria and what a Democrat needs to knock off the jackals who currently control the machinery of our state gubmint...

I couldn't come up with a single weakness in her profile. Unless of course it's just not mathematically possible to elect a Latina as Texas Governor yet. My cursory reading of the numbers suggest that it's not out of the realm of possibility, given a combination of circumstances next year, but perhaps someone else can work over the numbers more closely and see what they yield. For the moment, I'm in love with the idea of this woman leading our cabal into the breach in 2010...and here's a few reasons why - (after the jump, if there is one around here...)

There's More... :: (69 Comments, 1741 words in story)

HD-17: Dippel Running on Common Sense, Kleinschmidt Running on Nonsense


by: Robert Ryland

Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 04:25 PM CDT

(This is a seat we need to hold. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

While the Presidential race continues to suck a lot of the air out of the Texas political atmosphere, vitally important down-ballot races are kicking into high gear as early voting approaches. The race for HD-17 (Bastrop, Fayette, Lee, Burleson, Colorado counties)is heating up as the GOP looks to pick up the seat vacated by Robby Cook (D-Eagle Lake) and  Donnie Dippel works hard to keep it in the Democratic column.

Rick Perry tool Tim Kleinschmidt has been spending gobs of PAC and lobbyist money (much of it from the likes of TLR, TX Oil and Gas PAC, and Bob Perry) trying to discredit Dippel and press hot buttons like he's done with his insidious mailers. The latest one I received (thanks, Tim!) touts his "plan to secure our borders" by spending state funds on border enforcement and  requiring photo I.D. to vote. Apparently the cookie-cutters who designed his campaign neglected to tell Tim that border security is a FEDERAL issue and that photo I.D. for voting is an unconstitutional imposition akin to a poll tax.

Needless to say, Tim is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Kleinschmidt was recently busted for paying his daughter with campaign funds  in direct violation of state election laws, and also apparently tried to film his campaign commercials during a non-partisan public forum in Bastrop recently. Later that week, at another candidate forum in Colorado County (in which the parties had agreed to no candidate cameras), Kleinschmidt failed to even show up and sent a surrogate instead. Clearly he's not interested in talking about the issues, since he's apparently confused about a number of them: Kleinschmidt mentions "supporting local schools" but also supports private school vouchers (which is it, Tim?), and claims to oppose toll roads and the TTC ( a new position from 2006...) while having fundraisers hosted by the Godfathers of the Toll Road Lobby like Perry and Mike Toomey. But despite his many ties with big insurance, big oil, and various other anti-labor and anti-working family forces that have made the Capitol and Guv's Mansion their personal playground for the last 10+ years - Tim claims he's an "independent voice" for rural Texas "values" !

Meanwhile, long-time Fayette County rancher and ag consultant Donnie Dippel (who would the cows really support, Tim?) is running on a sound platform that speaks to the actual issues affecting working families of the 17th District: fully funding our public schools and bringing back vocational training programs(strengthening the rural labor force), support for rural health care services like CHIP and local hospitals, support for volunteer fire departments and  rural law enforcement, repealing the Republican-enacted small business tax, (back to those "small town values" again) , protecting our water resources (as Kleinschmidt sells his water out of the District!) and encouraging economic development in HD-17, with it's mix of rural and exurban communities.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 317 words in story)

Sausage! Music! Football! Democrats! - This Saturday in Elgin


by: Robert Ryland

Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:14 PM CDT

(Sounds like a blast this weekend. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

Some people talk about putting the Democratic Party back on Main Street - the determined troops of Bastrop County are actually doing it! Heads up for those interested in getting OUT of Austin during what should be a bustling weekend:

Come out and support our candidates in important swing races with the Bastrop County Democratic Party this Saturday (9/27, 11am-3pm) as we  hold our Precinct 4 Tailgate Rally in Veteran's Memorial Park (a.k.a Elgin City Park), at Main and Depot Streets in historic downtown Elgin . In addition to local vendors hawking our famous hot sausage, drinks and homemade treats, we'll have live local music and fun for the kids - and of course, the chance hear and meet face-to-face with Democratic candidates on the Bastrop County ballot this November.

In response to the influx of visitors fleeing natural disasters of late, we're also asking folks to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Elgin and Bastrop Food Pantries who have done heroic work assisting evacuees and their hosts, and need supplies replenished.

Headliners are Larry Joe Doherty (CD-10) & Donnie Dippel (HD-17). Plus everyone's favorite regional down-ballot judicial candidate, the venerable Woodie Jones (for 3rd Ct. Appeals), and the extremely bright, hard-working Chris Duggan (for 423rd Dist. Judge). Sheriff candidate Wayne Smith along with Dock Jackson (for Pct 1 Commissioner) round out the confirmed list of local office-seekers.

Loyal local yellowdawgs Ernie Bogart (longtime Elgin attorney) and Lee Dildy (Pct 4 Comm.) will serve as Honorary Hosts for this event.

Folks are encouraged to bring coolers, chairs and TVs, and set up camp next to the park for Texas-Arkansas game-watching after the rally activities finish just about kick-off time.

Plus, we'll have some of these nifty Obama-Biden things for a small charge....

We'll also feature a special guest - local delegate to the National Convention Michael Flowers, profiled recently in an excellent Texas Observer article by our favorite Gal-With-the-Obama-Plates-Whose-Resolve-Is-Only-Strengthened-When-Punks-Slash-Her-Tires...

Wanna get away from the craziness? Hop on US 290 and go counter-flow Saturday morning!

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Reports of tragedy filtering out of Galveston and Bolivar


by: Robert Ryland

Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 03:44 PM CDT

The following is from an email sent to me by a good friend in Nacogdoches whose buddy has been over Galveston - names have been edited out to protect the folks those who relayed the report. Also relayed from this guy and others: persons going into the restricted area are apparently being patted down and cameras are being confiscated, by Army and Coast Guard personnel.

Okay...I've got some news on this front.  Take it for what it's worth, but the guy I got it from is someone I trust to raise my children... He's never once lied to me...ever.  And we're close.

He's in a pretty high-up supervisory position for a refinery down on the coast.
His refinery has some equipment and lines in and around Galveston county, and before they were to bring them back on line he and his crew had to inspect the place for damage and potential hazards.  So they were given permission....after a background check....to helicopter in and inspect, which meant coming in over Galveston.

I kid you not when I say that he told me they saw AT LEAST 1500 bodies in trees scattered about Galveston.  They also saw a lot in various ditches and marshes, esp. on the north side of East Galv. Bay, east side of Trinity Bay, and in the marshes between I-45 and Seabrook/Clear Lake/Deer Park.

It explains why they're not letting the media anywhere close to the Island except in limited sectors nd we're not hearing anything from or about the people who survived and those who stayed behind. It's like 20,000 people never
existed....where are they?  Where'd they go?  What are their names?  Nothing....

Same thing in Orange county.

Take it for what it's worth....I believe him, though his count may be wrong given the shock of the sight.  But like I said, I'd trust him to raise my kids.

I'd be more surprised if he were wrong than if he were right.

And from Rhiannon Myers  of the Galveston Daily News comes this dispatch:

GALVESTON - Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas on Monday ordered all city employees not to talk to news reporters. She did not say when that order would be lifted.

Thomas and City Manager Steve LeBlanc will be the only officials allowed to talk to reporters. City spokeswoman Mary Jo Naschke vehemently denied the city was trying to clamp down on coverage.
......

Reporters would be allowed on the island only if they had proper identification, Thomas said. She didn't clarify what that meant.

Reporters were also forbidden from visiting areas on the far West End, Thomas said. She did not explain why.

I'm not normally one to be alarmist and I don't want to upset people, but this has me very worried. I know some folks who stayed down there to ride it out, as does the guy who sent me the email above - he has yet to hear from one of his friends and fears the worst. His report of the damage in Nacogdoches was not pretty either, and if this storm tore apart towns that far inland it's certainly not unreasonable to think that Galveston and the Triangle have experienced unprecedented devastation.
There could be arguably sound reasons for media blackouts, and the specter of hundreds of bodies among the wreckage may be one of them.  It's not always easy in situations like this to know where to draw the line between respect for the deceased and their families, and the public's right to know about what  has happened.

Perhaps the best thing we can all do now is pitch in and help:

Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief

or jump in locally in Austin - see Matt's post below to Donate to and Volunteer at the Capitol Area Food Bank
 

Discuss :: (65 Comments)

County Conventions and Delegates: What next?


by: Robert Ryland

Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 03:50 PM CDT

And away we go...on to the county/senate district conventions, whether we like it or not...

Here in Bastrop County, things went relatively well on March 4. The polls were well-staffed, and nearly all of the precinct conventions were conducted fairly and properly. I suppose we'll all know more as March 29 approaches and we see how many credentials challenges are lodged, but I believe we had a solid crop of trained caucus-goers and chairs and that should minimize problems for us as the process goes forward.

Nearly all of the problems I've seen cited, both here on BOR and elsewhere, seem directly tied to lack of preparation and leadership at the county and precinct level. With all the  training sessions by county parties, SDEC folk, DFT and the like, I feel like I had adequate preparation for the process and a good background in the rules, but I understand this was not the case for a lot of those who wound up chairing PCs around the state. (I'm fortunate to live in a county that still has a relatively strong and active local party.)

Add to that the flurry of paranoid emails from the Clinton campaign to their caucus-goers (one Clinton supporter at my PC basically recited the most proliferated one line for line as we proceeded by the book), and some probably erroneous/rash instructions from Obama organizers to their ground troops about sign-in rules and order of business, etc., and there was bound to be trouble as the turnout went off the charts. By and large I think we had a lot of misunderstandings that were magnified by the contentiousness of this nomination process.

So as the TDP attempts to take advantage of this golden opportunity while simultaneously trying to wriggle out of a huge mess and sort out all the problems and find missing results, I'm not sure I should trouble them for some clarification as to how we proceed to allocate delegates from county to state. But I'm on the Rules Committee, so I hereby seek input from the BOR braintrust and peanut gallery....

As I read the rules here:

(d) At the County or Senatorial District Conventions, precincts shall elect their Delegates in accordance with Party Rules, and At-Large Delegates shall be selected by the Convention according to the following procedure:
(1) Either a written poll of Delegates or a roll call poll of the Convention shall be conducted to determine political preferences. The method to be used shall be determined by the County or Senatorial District Committee in advance of the Convention or, if it fails to act, by the Permanent Convention Chair. The written poll of Delegates may be either by ballot or by sign-in sheet on forms prescribed by the County or Senatorial District Committee. These forms shall require the signature of each Delegate, attesting to the Delegate's political preference (in non-presidential years) or presidential preference or uncommitted status (in presidential years). No Delegate may sign more than once. Final establishment of the poll, either by roll call or in writing, shall be the first order of business immediately following the election of Permanent Convention Officers and before the Convention conducts any other business.
(2) Upon completing the poll, results shall be tabulated by a committee appointed by the Permanent Convention Chair and composed of at least one person for each known political or presidential preference. The Chair then shall announce the tabulation results to the convention by number and percentages of votes received by each political or presidential preference. The tabulation then shall be written into the permanent records of the Convention and shall be reported as part of the minutes. The poll records, including the ballots, sign-in sheets, or roll call poll, shall be retained by the County or Senatorial District Chair as part of the official files of the Convention for at least six months. Such records shall be open to public inspection at reasonable hours upon request.
(3) Any written forms used in conducting such poll, or the announced method of polling, if by roll call poll, shall include all known political preferences (in non-presidential years) or presidential preferences and uncommitted status (in presidential years) of Delegates, but shall not limit the right of any Delegate or group of Delegates to indicate their preference in any manner which they choose.
(4) Poll results shall be used by the Nominations Committee and by the Convention as a whole as the basis for nominating and for electing At-Large Delegates so as to ensure the fairest possible representation of the Convention participants as a whole within the total delegation, without disturbing the Precinct Caucus election results. The threshold will be the lowest allowed by the National Committee (which at present is 15%).

It seems to confirm that regardless of who shows up at the county convention, the allocation of the county's delegates to state are basically set by the precinct caucus results - i.e., we do not 're-caucus' at the county convention - but that any at-large delegates can be allocated using the results of the county convention sign-in rolls
(subject to credentials challenges, I assume). In short, the at-large delegates are up for grabs to whichever candidate's supporters have the highest convention attendance - but it also sounds like this is entirely up to the county Nominations Committee.

Obviously I've been studying and ciphering, but I'm not a Rules Geek yet.

Anybody want to weigh in?

(paging Dr. Maxey....paging Dr. Maxey...)

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

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