Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kilonoriegas and Megawatts: But Dollars Can’t Vote

Last time I looked only people could vote.

Third quarter reports have come out and the Texas Senate race is looking as interesting as ever. According to yesterday’s FEC reports, Rick Noriega out-performed his Democratic rival for US Senate nominee quite substantially.

Electronic filings came screaming in on the deadline, and now that the dust has settled, it looks like Rick Noriega’s campaign pulled in 508 kilodollars to Watts’ 443. That’s a very nearly 13% margin.

Now that’s saying something. That’s saying something that a lot of people thought would ever be said. Watts claimed that he was the candidate who could pull in the necessary contributions needed to defeat Cornyn in ’08, what with his 30-day $1.1 million blitz, implying that “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.


He said this:
“People are investing in our campaign because they are demanding change and they know that I am someone who will fight for our interests here in Texas and not the special interests in Washington.”
My thought on his 30-day blitz? A one-off deal. Watts didn’t have the legs to keep up the pace. He peaked early by dunning all of his lawyer friends and those that he hit up for contributions out of the very campaign funds he had donated to. One hand washes the other.

But that’s chump change according to this Chron article, which reminds us again that Watts’ campaign is largely self-funded, and that he has kicked in $7.5 million of his own hard-won contingency fees. As far as money on hand, Watts even bests John Cornyn.

According to this Chron article, apparently, who has the dough gets the go (ahead).

But then, wait, RG Ratcliffe has finally realized what we Noriega bloggers have all come to know and love for some time now. It’s not about who’s got the most money, it’s about who will get the most primary voters.

Ratcliffe finally looked at what we are all seeing, and wrote an article titled “Wealth May Not Be Enough for Watts in Senate Race”.

Rick Noriega, believe it or not, has an Hispanic surname. Hispanics tend to vote for their own, and Hispanics tend to vote in primaries disproportionate to their numbers. While only 15% of your average Texan voter shows up to vote at the primaries, 35% of Hispanics do.

Here’s the thing that Ratcliffe wrote that I cannot accept, because I hear that Rick’s name is being spread far and wide in the Hispanic community.
“Hispanic voting expert Andy Hernandez said few voters currently know anything about either Noriega or Watts. As a consequence, Hispanic voters will first look at Noriega as a candidate they can identify with, he said.”
Like I said, I think Rick Noriega is getting a little more attention in the Hispanic community than Ratcliffe will allow, but let’s say some don’t hear the good word about Rick Noriega. Let’s say that they work at 3 jobs and don’t have time to catch up on this stuff. One glance at a friendly name that ends in a vowel may be all the convincing that they need.

Fine, Watts people will say (and I hear that DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer may agree to). Democrats again vote the unelectable opponent to oppose an otherwise embattled John Cornyn. We can defeat Cornyn, Rick Noriega can’t. For the same reasons he wins the primary, he loses in the November election: he’s Hispanic. Texans don’t vote for Hispanics.

That may have been true in the past, but you really have to think about this now. The face of the Texas voter has started to change. First, Texas didn’t become the 2nd most populous state in the nation because Texans know how to have children faster and better than anyone else. Texas’ population growth is by and large by migration and immigration. Second, the old prejudices of past generations don’t necessarily get handed down.

And I have also said this before: I think Rick Noriega will get bi-partisan support. Yes he may be a progressive, but his record of service is unassailable. He has served his nation in the armed forces, Cornyn has limited his military service to visiting and photo ops. Noriega actively worked to aid Hurricane Katrina evacuees, Cornyn got his photo taken with a FEMA director. Noriega worked on the border to staunch the flow of drugs and illegal aliens. Cornyn wants (and then doesn’t want) to build a wall.

Rick’s story is huge and will attract votes from the Right. Why? Even those across the aisle are getting tired of being lied to by liars. Deceived by deceivers.

Stolen from by stealers.


Anonymous said...

I heard Watts bought the "speakers" table for the Sam Rayburn dinner for a cool $10,000.

and he bought most of the program.

Wanna bet Harris County gives him some extra recognition?

Also wanna bet Rick Noriega gets a HUGE standing ovation?

Hal said...

Nope, not taking that bet, Anon, unless I can vote with you. Way to go Mikal. Spread the wealth. Rick, just show up.