Tuesday, July 24, 2012

EV turnout on Day One and other developments

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said as of 4 p.m. 1,847 Republican voters had cast ballots early in person, along with 338 Democrats.

Just as in the May primary, mail ballots are playing a significant role in the runoffs. As of Friday, 14,000 GOP voters had returned mail ballots, joined by 6,500 Democrats, Stanart said.

Turnout improved significantly as voters got off work and went to the polls. Three hours later at closing the in-person count was 1537 Ds and 8231 Rs. The mail-in numbers also edged up: 14,750 Republican, 6671 Democratic. All this data is courtesy of Du-Ha Kim Nguyen in Clerk Stanart's office.

The turnout was also good at the GOP Senate mudfight last night. The behavior of the two combatants was the same; the audience participation was typical TeaBagger.

The politics of the personal trumped differences over policy in Monday's debate between U.S. Senate candidates Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who accused each other of lying about their respective records and waging a media war marked by untruth and insult.

Sponsored by the King Street Patriots, a Houston-based tea party organization, and carried live on KRIV-Channel 26, the Houston affiliate, the hour-long debate before an audience of more than 300 offered mostly nuanced differences on the issues. With the candidates standing at separate podiums within a few feet of each other, the conversation grew heated when Cruz accused Dewhurst of running a dirty campaign.
Although the audience had been told in advance not to applaud or audibly respond to the candidates' remarks, an audience member shouted "Not true" as Dewhurst spoke. Later in the debate, an audience member yelled "Liar." The candidates ignored the outbursts.

Wow that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Where in the world have I heard of whining, moaning accusations from the establishment's candidate of a negative campaign being waged by the upstart challenger?

Speaking of CD07, the Harris County Democratic Party's de facto chairman, Carl Whitmarsh, has declared a moratorium on any more email through his listserv of the House seat's primary between Lissa Squiers and James Cargas.

That's fine with me... because he has only been sending out Cargas e-mails for weeks now.

Update: Even Campos is sad about it. Naturally, within a few hours of announcing his ban, Carl sent out the following from Cargas himself. I'm sure it was just a mistake...

Welcome to the world under Citizens United. Where candidates raise the least amount of money, candidates have less control of what happens in their race, and the FEC is becoming less relevant. I don't know who Alice Addertongue is; and I don't want to.  Because under Citizens United, if I were to ask her to pull down her site, I would be “coordinating” with her (this assumes that the site she links to is hers).

Of course, the same cannot be said for Ms. Squiers. She is clearly coordinating with Perry Dorrell and his vile vicious blog that attacks 99% of Houston, including my dear Communications Director, our beloved former Councilmember Peter Brown, and even the Chronicle's suit-wearing editors - none of whom are running for Congress. Exhibit 1 is the “paid for by the Lissa Squiers for Congress Campaign” postcard mailed to my Campaign Manager signed by Mr. Dorrell. Exhibit 2 is the fact that Dorrell’s posts are sent to you for circulation at the request of my opponent.

I have the distinct advantage of being the ONLY candidate in the runoff talking about the issues. Issues that Democrats and all Americans care deeply about. I am losing that advantage the more these distractions continue. So, I actually would like Ms. Addertogue to stop her throwing of gasoline on the fire (I knew about Squires’ arrest a long time ago but did not see any value in releasing it; after all, she pled nolo contendere, which is akin to not guilty). It wouldn’t hurt, my friend, if some gatekeeping happened on your end too and a gag order were placed on Mr. Dorrell.

Well if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black. Googling peoples' public records is so Matt Bramanti, James.

Cargas hasn't read my posts closely enough. Or maybe doesn't communicate clearly with his communications director. Because if he did, he would know that I outed myself as a volunteer in the Squiers campaign a looong time ago. For at least the third time, Team Cargas: 'volunteer' means UNPAID. I realize this is a foreign concept to you folks in and of itself, but it is quite common in the political world.

Mr. Cargas: go get the most recent copy of the map of the 7th district, familiarize yourself with it, and remember that if you want to bring federal grants to the Texas Medical Center next year, you might have to lobby Al Green -- and not Lissa Squiers -- for them.

What I have learned in two weeks of not just postcard signing but blockwalking and phone-calling, however, is that most voters have never heard of either Carl or me. So -- as I have suspected all along -- this campaign will likely turn on the simplest of differences between the two candidates: Community Democrat versus Corporate Democrat. Oil and Gas Attorney versus Single Mother. Progressive as opposed to "moderate" conservative.

The Democratic primary for the US Senate race is both very similar and very different. There have been some fascinating discussions recently on Facebook, which I would wish to excerpt here except that I really don't want to go to the trouble. Suffice it to say -- if you haven't been party to those chats -- that most Democrats are in a quandary about whom to choose because of the two rivals' corresponding incompetence as candidates. In making my own selection a month ago, I explained my tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really rationale.

The TDP, in an e-mail to voters yesterday, decided to abandon neutrality and join the fray. A lengthy comparison of Paul Sadler's curriculum vitae publica, alongside Grady Yarbrough's nonexistent one, concluded with "The Choice is Clear".

Eh, not so much, Gilberto. Texas Democrats have a fairly consistent record of nominating as many pure populists with no experience as they do "moderate" establishment types. Victor Morales and Gene Kelly come to mind right alongside Rick Noriega and Barbara Radnofsky and Ron Kirk. Neither faction seems to hold an edge with respect to general election results. So IMHO the choice isn't so clear.

And candidly, the TDP is damned if they do and damned if they don't. By picking sides in a primary they draw deserved heat; by not doing so they have also withered fire in circular formation in the past. To me this e-mail demonstrates that the TDP is going to have to offer this message's value as an in-kind contribution to the Sadler campaign, which will be the largest one of any kind the man is likely to receive.

No matter who the Democrats and Republicans nominate, the choices ARE clear for those who don't want to pinch their nostrils while voting. David Collins is the Green and John Jay Myers is the Libertarian.

Now that choice is much clearer. In fact, it just might be as clear as choosing CD07's Community Democrat over the Corporate one.

Have you voted yet this week?

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