Monday, June 18, 2007

Moving Day

The Draft Rick Noriega movement kicks it up to a new phase today.

A big chunk of the Texroots have combined to launch Draft Rick Noriega on a soapblox platform, which will allow diaries and easier organizing.

We hope you'll join us to DRAFT RICK NORIEGA for U.S. Senate.

Big things are on the horizon. Be part of them at Draft Rick.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Keeping Piles of Cash in the Proper Perspective

While it surely has not escaped the attention of Ol' Box Turtle that San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts just put a cool 4 mil on the table to match Cornyn's warchest, it's important to keep the role of money in politics in the proper perspective.

Rick Noriega does. He told the Austin American Statesman when they called:

Noriega said Thursday: “I am seriously looking at the race, but whether or not I get in or not, I have no intention of getting into a back and forth with a bank account. I do not want to reinforce the unhealthy idea that a candidate is judged solely on money.

“My focus would be the people of the state of Texas and whether (GOP U.S. Sen. John) Cornyn’s rubber stamp support for Bush, and the national leadership that has failed to provide a clear mission for our involvement overseas, is good for Texas.

“Washington politicians are making the decisions while Texas families are making the sacrifices.”

This is the man I want in the Senate...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lampson Opts for Re-Election in TX-22

The Austin American Statesman is reporting on their blog that Nick Lampson will NOT run for Senate in 2008 as has been speculated, but has decided to defend his seat in TX-22.
A Senate bid is "not going to happen," Tameez said. "It sounds goofy, but he feels like he made a commitment to the people of Congressional District 22." Tameez said Lampson feels a Senate try would be "disingenuous."

Tameez aired Lampson's decision to stamp out speculation regarding a Senate bid. "We just want it to stop," he said (unwittingly the desire of some observers of this legislative session).

Doesn't sound goofy to me. (Perhaps Nick needs a better consultant for the next election cycle if he can't control his mouth better than that.) Sounds like great news for TX-22.

It is going to be a hard fought battle for re-election. Of that there is no doubt.

I look forward to supporting Rep. Lampson in that fight. As soon as the filing's official, I'll be sending him some cash, and I hope you all will join me.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rick's Comments on Memorial Day and the Legislature

Must read over at Muse's place. An excerpt below to help us all keep perspective this Memorial Day weekend.

One of the things this holiday may represent is that people have died for our right to disagree. In the face of such service and sacrifice, using overheated, incendiary language normally used to typify armed conflict to describe divisions in the Texas House of Representatives is not helpful and possibly irresponsible. "Insurgents," "rebels," "storming," "charged," "anarchy" are not appropriate terms to describe the occurrences in the Texas House this weekend. It is dramatic to use such over-the-top expressions, but it is not accurate or appropriate.

Genuine differences in opinion, concern about appropriate use of Texas House rules to stifle debate and disagreement, fundamental discussions of the use of this great state's resources to meet the needs of its citizens--all are in play at the Texas Capitol this holiday. In the face of such drama, it is tempting to go over the top to try and convey the intensity of the discussion and the strong differences in opinion of the members of the Texas House. For the sake of accurate reporting and the gravity of the discussion, it might be more responsible to take the language down a little and leave the war analogies to CNN and Fox News.

Democracy is messy. Democracy at its best is not everyone agreeing, of not knowing the answer to every question. Democracy is hashing out all the sides and listening to all the voices, and bringing forth the common ground for the common good. We would challenge you to not silence the voices of discontent, but instead embrace the fundamental tenet of democracy, that of listening to a different view.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

McCraw's Slow Dinghy Springs a Leak

One thing you can say for the Republicans of Texas, when a tactic works, they’ll keep running it till it runs aground-and never was a metaphor more apt than for for Steve McCraw’s attempted swiftboating of Rick Noriega.

Rick has been in the forefront of the fight to make HB-13* a responsible piece of legislation instead of a power grab by the Executive branch of Texas government. (Looks like Governor 39% has been taking notes on that whole “unitary executive” concept.)

That has drawn the tiny, foot-stamping ire of McCraw, who decided to up the ante by sending a letter on the Governor’s official letterhead questioning Rick’s commitment to border security.

The swiftboat turned into a rubber dinghy somewhere in the three pages (plus enclosures)** McCraw took to explain to a Lt. Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard who has served in Afghanistan and as a sector commander in Operation Jump Start how important it was to secure the Texas border from possible terrorist infiltration.

Then the dinghy sprung a leak, as Rick fired back his response.

There is too much at stake here to play politics. Further, these irresponsible statements contribute to concerns that the state has placed the trust of our homeland security in the hands of staff in a political office, without the accountability and supervision we require of law enforcement agencies. The letter was written on official Office of the Governor letterhead, but I am going to assume that this letter went out without your knowledge or approval. The purpose of this letter is to ask that your office retract this statement immediately.

You will recall that when the President of the United States announced last spring that he would send 6,000 National Guard soldiers to the border, I volunteered. I served as the Laredo Border Sector Commander for over 300 Texas Military Forces. We assisted in the seizure of thousands of pounds of drugs, while working jointly with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to secure our border. Along with our fellow officers and airmen, we once again spent months away from family because of our belief that it was our duty to protect our state and our homeland.

The Guard worked hand-in-hand with U.S. Border Patrol and the local law enforcement because securing our borders requires cooperation between all levels of government. Equally important is the disciplined adherence to tight security protocols. Lack of cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety on the part of your political security entity, as well as documented security leaks and lack of consistent procedure, has contributed to the concern of some in the legislature about the command and control of this entity.

This is the kind of fighter Texas needs to take the Senate seat squatted in by John Cornyn in 2008. Help us draft him by signing up for our email list (see form in the left column), or blogging about the upcoming Texas Senate race, and why you think Rick Noriega is the guy to be the next Democratic Senator from the great state of Texas.

*In case you haven’t been following the travails of HB 13, Jake Bernstein has been following the doings in detail on the TO blog. Kuff also has a succinct writeup on the latest pothole the bill hit last Friday.

** The Texas Observer, which broke the story on its blog has copies of the letter, which must be read to be believed, as well as Rep. Noriega’s full response.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Welcome to Draft Rick, Let's Get to Work

New week, and we here at the Draft Rick campaign are raring to go. How about you?

If you haven't already, please sign up for our email list on the sidebar. Have the latest Draft Rick news sent right to your inbox.

The Draft Rick campaign is you and me. We have work to do. Here are your first assignments.

Talk2Two: Recruit two people to the Draft Rick movement. Look around at your office mates, your neighbors. Who else is looking at the Senator from Box Turtle and saying “Oh, no. Not again.” Bring them back here, and let’s put them to work.

Blogswarm Rising: If you have a blog, write about why you support Rick Noriega. Do you like the legislative initiatives he’s championed? Think his experience fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan is just the thing the Senate needs? Maybe you have some other favorite reason.

Write about it. Tell the world of the internets why they should be excited about the Draft Rick movement. After all, why should Virginians have all the fun and a new Senator?

Senator Rick Noriega has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Introducing the Man Who Will Beat John Cornyn

In 2004, when I challenged Tom Delay at the height of his power, it was seen as a fool’s errand. The Majority Leader of the House was considered unassailable.

I and my campaign team assailed him nonetheless, because it was a job that needed doing. When we held him to 55%, it was clear that Fortress Delay had more than a few cracks.

In 2008, we have another job that needs doing. Time to replace John Cornyn in the Senate. And Cornyn’s numbers show him to be vulnerable to a strong, people-powered candidate from the Democratic side.

Is there such a candidate? I believe there is. I’m asking you to help me draft him into the service of his state and his country once again.

Who is this people powered candidate? He is a veteran. He completed his undergraduate education with the help of an ROTC scholarship and was commissioned in the United States Army. His Army career includes airborne school and service as commander in the infantry. Now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard, he served most recently as deputy garrison commander of the KMTC training facility in Kabul, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and as the Laredo Border Sector Commander, Operation Jump Start.

Who is this people powered candidate? He is Hispanic. While at Harvard getting his Master’s in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was an editor of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. His involvement with the community is not limited to the academic. He and his wife are active in neighborhood and community affairs. He has both past and present membership on boards including Catholic Charities, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the Houston Holocaust Museum, and Talento BilinguĂ« de Houston. In appreciation for his public service to the community, he was voted Hispanic of the Year 2001 by the Houston Fiestas Patrias, which also honored him as Grand Marshal of their 2005 parade.

This people powered candidate is also a dedicated and proven legislator. Significant legislative accomplishments include an historic bill making Texas the first state in the country to provide in-state tuition rates and financial assistance for certain immigrant children. Today, thousands of them are attending college. To date eight other states, have passed or proposed similar eligibility programs and, in Congress; first, Senator Orrin Hatch ( Utah) and currently others have brought forward The DREAM Act, to accomplish the same purpose at the federal level.

For his courage and his leadership in shepherding the bill through the legislative process, the candidate received awards from the Texas Association of Bilingual Educators, Texas LULAC, and was selected by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) and Hispanic Journal as 2001 Legislator of the Year.” National awards included the Legislative Leaders in Education Award from the National College Board (2002) and the Hispanic Caucus of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) for Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues In Higher Education (2003); The government of Mexico also honored him with the Ohtli Award, presented to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent who have distinguished themselves in public service in 2002.

This people powered candidate is from a major metropolitan area. As a legislator he authored or sponsored legislation relating to economic development, emergency repairs for schools, tougher penalties for selling inhalants to minors, regulating automobile title services in Harris County to reduce fraud, financial aid for custodial grandparents, and tuition assistance for some Texas Army National Guard members.

In the fall of 2005, he was the Incident Commandeer for the City Of Houston's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center. His leadership with the military, as well as his record in community service, was crucial as the GRB was transformed into a virtual city that processed close to 30,000 evacuees, and was then dismantled in the course of less than a month. At the center, he coordinated medical, employment, travel, housing and food services for more than 2,000 evacuees living on-site.

He’s proud to now represent these new Houstonians as they join the life of a great and vibrant American city.

If you don’t already know who I’m talking about, allow me to introduce you.

The people powered candidate for Texas is Rep. Rick Noriega. He has served his country, his community, and his family with dedication and distinction. He is my friend, my Democratic colleague, and I would be proud to call him my Senator.

Help me draft him.

Please sign up in the left hand column for our email list for updates in the Draft Rick Campaign.

It’s going to take money for whoever challenges John Cornyn in 2008. We ask for your help in building a nest egg for the eventual nominee, thanks to our good friends at ActBlue.


Richard Morrison