Thursday, August 10, 2006

Having Some Barbecue With a Galaxy of Texas Candidates

Things are looking up for this Blogger. Tonight I was asked by Juanita to come to a fundraising barbecue dinner and meet and see a whole host of Democratic candidates, past and present I left my notebook at home, so what you're going to read are the more memorable (to me) things that transpired tonight.

First, it was held on Old South Plantation, a very genteel place in Richmond that has its own church right on the premises. The place is to die for. The house, above, was built in 1890 by descendents of Jane Long, "Mother of Texas". What can I say, white buildings and columns. The barbecue itself was in an outbuilding.

Now you expect a fundraiser dinner of this caliber to be with linen table cloths and napkins with white coated servers. Well, that's what you would expect at a Republican Do. What we were treated to were bare wooden tables, barbecue dinners in Styrofoam trays - you know - the kind you use to take home the carne asada that you couldn't finish, plasticware and beverages in an ice chest. This is why I like Democrats. No pretense, just solid down to earth people.

Who were there:

Nick Lampson, the only major party candidate on the Texas CD-22 ballot
Jim Sharp, running for Justice on the First Court of Appeals
Albert Hollan, running for Judge in the 268th District Court
Farhan Shamsi, running for Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3
Rudy Velasquez, running for Judge, County Court at Law #1
Veronica Torres, running for Fort Bend District Clerk
Neeta Sane, running for Fort Bend County Treasurer

Also present, though not running for anything (this year) were:

Gerry Birnberg, Harris County Democratic Party Chair
Richard Morrison, former Democratic candidate for Congress for CD-22 in 2004.

Albert Hollan spoke about how he was proud of the American judicial system in the decisions of the past month-plus. Republican-appointed judges ruling not in a partisan way, but following the rule of law. He's running against Brady Elliott, who, Albert says, is a judge who doesn't allow you to speak more than 2 or 3 minutes before cutting you off, having already made his decision about you.

Farhan Shamsi told a perfectly charming tale of his immigration as a 4-year old, and about how his parents were naturalized in 1976, the bicentennial year, and that his parents voted as Americans for the first time that year - their first vote being for Jimmy Carter.

Rudy Velasquez. Now you have to know that Rudy Velasquez is a very calm soft spoken man, but he brought the house down with a comment that goes something like this: People ask me why run for judge in Fort Bend County? You're just wasting your time and money and no lawyer in the county is going to vote for you because they are Republicans. To which Rudy responded. Well, I have lots of time and no money. Besides, there are only 200 lawyers who can vote against me. But you know, I am Hispanic, and we Hispanics have large families. I have 47 first cousins on my mother's side, and 62 first cousins on my father's side. And they're all registered to vote and they are all going to vote in November.

Jim Sharp is running for Appeals Justice in an area that stretches across 9 counties in southeast Texas. He's as sharp as they come (sorry). To Rudy, who spoke of running for judge of some kind of lowly court, Jim said: You're lucky. You're running against 1 candidate who has never seen the inside of a court, I am running in a field of 9 candidates.

Veronica Torres is really starting to come on strong. I heard her speak at a house party last February, and she came across as a quiet but earnest candidate. Tonight I saw a Veronica Torres with strong convictions in her abilities with fire in her voice. She is going to make her opponent, a Republican, propped up, under-qualified candidate sorry she ever agreed to run.

Neeta Sane is always fun to watch. She's maybe 5 feet tall, and you have to keep telling yourself not to tell her to stand up when she speaks - because she is standing. The woman has more energy than Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco combined. Neeta argued very forcefully that she will be the watchdog of taxpayer money, seeing that it is properly invested, and above all running a transparent operation. No more shady deals in our County Treasurer's office.

Nick got up last and threw out perhaps the best line I have heard out of him, and that's saying something because the man can turn a phrase. I hope I do it justice: We got rid of Tom DeLay! We buried him! Then we resurrected him and then we buried him AGAIN!

Although not running for office this year, the entire crowd turned to Richard Morrison and gave him a loud standing ovation for being the pioneer running an underfunded campaign against a well-monied powerful Republican congressman in 2004, and making a more than respectable showing in that race. He demonstrated that DeLay was vulnerable, even in his own gerrymandered district.

It was a great evening.

And you know what? Richard Morrison reads my blog!

TexRoots Update

We're now up to 31% of our goal for Juan, Hank and Shane. C'mon guys. These are tremendously important races. We Bloggers have "primed" the fund with our hard-earned dollars. I did as well, and I am a public school teacher. You must know that I can ill afford too many contributions. The time is now upon us. If you can, please contribute to the campaigns of these very deserving candidates. They will turn it around for us, but they need your support. Do what you can for them, OK? If you are a CD-22 voter, then you can now consider a contribution to Shane Sklar. He is running against a Libertarian, as is Nick. We can use Shane's campaign to show potential Smithers voters what they will reap if they vote for a Libertarian. That is, NOTHING. I especially want to see Hank win. The Agricultural Commish has been for too long a path to higher office. A vote for Hank Gilbert is a vote to make that office work for US again. Juan Garcia? The man's record speaks for itself. You can't NOT support this gentleman. He is too cool for the room.


muse said...

Um, you forgot to mention that muse was there! AND, that Richard Morrison reads my blog also! Did Albert Hollan come up to you and say, "hey, I read your blog!" Huh? Did he?

Oh, and also Nick said about burying DeLay - "and, we'll bury him again if we have to!" That cracked me up because, you know, if we had to WE WOULD!

Montag said...

I hate to point this out, but in several races on the ballot there's NO Democratic candidate listed, whereas there is a Republican candidate for every office. The cold, hard fact is that for Democrats the Libertarian candidate will be their only avenue for a "NO" vote in some races. Witness State Board of Education Dist. 10, which is us. Of course you're welcome to vote for a Republican nutjob candidate who Home Schools her children and has gotten endorsements from big shots in nearly every conservative organization in Texas. I'm sure she just LOVES public school teachers.

Hal said...

OK muse, go the the FB Democrats blog where I put the posting there as well, with changes for tense and omissions.

The time stamp is wrong on my posting and I have tried to correct it but it still isn't right.

I actually published the post at 11:27 PM. On a school night. I was a little tired, and I know that's a lame excuse, but I just wanted to post and hit the hay.