Sunday, September 03, 2006

Texas Democrats Launch Labor Day With a Bang

Well, as expected, Fort Bend Democrats threw themselves one heck of a party. No one could believe the turnout. The room was a sea of faces, familiar faces and new faces. As Don Bankston, the affair’s organizer quipped, and I’m paraphrasing here, if Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace could see the number of Democrats meeting in his city’s own community center, he’d get real nervous. I didn’t get a head count, but my estimate was over two hundred showed up.

Everyone I mentioned in a previous posting showed up. The paper press was there as well as FortBendNow (who will probably have their write-up posted hours before I put mine up. And their posting will be much more accurate then mine, I saw Bob Dunn take notes. I never take notes).

Everyone spoke. Not for very long. County candidates got, oh, 7 or 8 seconds apiece. Even the statewide and federal candidates abbreviated their speeches in deference to the time and sheer numbers of them. I did get a chance to talk to Shane Sklar, Democratic candidate in CD-14. He reports that things are going well and the funding is improving, although it could still get better (still time to drop off a few bucks for Shane's campaign at TexRoots). Nick Lampson slaps me on the back now. And Albert Hollan knows me by name now, and reads – and laughs at – my blog. He liked the Al Gebra posting. So there, muse.

Hank Gilbert is a study. I saw the speech that he delivered to the state convention on You Tube, but you don’t get a true appreciation of the depth of the man until you hear him speak his mind extemporaneously. He said that he knew his opponent when he was in high school, and said that he was a p--ck then and he still is a p--ck. And then said something else about his opponent not knowing one end of a cow from the other, so he doesn’t know which end to go to, to wipe its a--.

Neeta Sane came in late and in her usual exuberance, amplified over speakers this time, she inadvertently scared little Olivia to tears. Yes, I saw Charles Kuffner, author of “Off The Kuff” made it. Like a good dad he picked her up and took her out into the atrium to calm down. muse was there with the muse camera. By the way, go to muse's blog, or Bryan's for photography of the event. I don't take photos because my digital camera is so old that it is embarrasing when I haul it out to snap a photo. Really. I get stares.

Chris Bell has a sense of humor that is so dry that the humidity in the room fell to 5%. He spoke of the education he has gotten in his trans-state campaign, particularly that night. He said that he discovered why the state has fewer and fewer ranchers, now that Hank revealed one of the things that they have to do.

Watch out for Barbara Ann Radnofsky. She is in attack mode. She is going after Kay Bailey Hutchison in just the right way: exposing her as the fool that she is. Radnofsky goes for the throat, attacking Kay Bailey in the areas that she is weakest – foreign policy. Here is why Kay Bailey is weak in foreign policy – she is clueless, as is her great and glorious leader, Dubya.

Congressman Al Green gave the keynote address and got several standing ovations. He spoke of the mean spiritedness on the part of the Republicans in the GOP-dominated congress, voting themselves a huge pay raise, and then attaching a rider to the minimum wage bill that would have given a multi billion dollar tax break to the wealthy top 1% of Americans. I posted about that as well. He then introduced Nick Lampson.

Nick gave the usual speech, now punctuated with the fact that democrats cannot afford to lose focus now that the outcome of his race seems to be almost a no-brainer. All candidates both state and county depend on keeping up the pressure and keeping the focus on victory. And then I saw something new. He picked up a “Had Enough” lawn sign and periodically asked the audience if they “Had Enough?” Crowd answers “Yeah!” Nick follows up: “What are you going to do about it?” Crowd: “Vote Democratic!”

Albert Hollan brought magnetic bumper stickers, and in his brief speech, he brought down the house when he said that he had placed one on every car and truck in the parking lot. And he did. I even got one on mine, and I had my car parked around the side. Leaving the center I noticed someone complain that there was no Hollan magnet on their car. Then observed the person scan up and down the row looking for one, finding one, snatched it. Ironically, not 5 minutes later, I saw Albert Hollan exit the building and walk toward the very car that had suffered the snatching. I called over, asking if he had a magnetic sticker on his car and he said yes, he did. I answered “are you sure”? Sure enough, he went and checked and found his sticker had been filched. So he reached in his pocket and put another on.

This left me to formulate two conflicting lessons.

Lesson 1: If you are going to snatch a Hollan magnetic bumper sticker, make sure you snatch it from Albert – he has more.

Lesson 2: If you are going to engage in petty theft, make sure you don’t steal from the next district judge of the 268th court.

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