Monday, December 18, 2006

Just Once More, With Feeling . . .

The first set of final exams taken and scanned, scores slammed into the gradebook, I was out the door this afternoon with review sheets and expended flashcards flying behind me (jetsam of any given final exam).

Traffic was light yet, and the pavement was still wet, but the rain was done for the day. I got to Pearland in record time, got a list and started calling again for the Dr. Anthony DiNovo campaign to capture the Texas HD 29 seat. All phone lines were being used, and I was handed someone’s cell phone. Cool. I put my cell away.

Trenda and I were in the back office and we were talking to each other back to back as we worked through our individual chores. A guy from Friendswood had come in to volunteer and said he wanted to be a poll watcher tomorrow. She was talking to someone on the staff of the Brazoria County Elections Office, who directed her to the Texas SOS website where she could view what the Texas Election Code said about poll watchers. It’s pretty specific. You can only be a poll watcher if you are a resident in the county, in the district for which the election is being held, and in “the political subdivision”. The working theory that was developed was that this “subdivision” was a precinct. The Elections Office staffer didn’t think that was what it meant, but . . . yeah, that’s what it means.

So, no, he couldn’t be a poll watcher.

“What if I was born in the precinct?” he said, “I was you know.” That got a laugh.

I mentioned to Trenda that it looked like there were more volunteers today. She said: “It’s been crazy all day.” “Earlier today we had nine people in the front room calling.” “We don’t know where these people are coming from but they’re very welcome here.”


The call to come to Pearland is showing up on all the blogs. You know who you are. It’s working. People are coming.

But wait, there’s more.

Today as we made our calls and talked to human voices, for the first time we started getting feedback from the voters that this was the 2nd or the 3rd call they got from the Democrats. I found myself in the enviable position of having to apologize to people for having duplicated the effort. My canned reply became this: “I’m sorry sir/ma’am. This is probably good for us but inconvenient for you.”

Online phone banking here is very probably responsible for this. Who knows, maybe other organizations are chipping in. I know that this happened in November, too.

My score? Plus or minus 150 calls made in 3 hours, mostly messages left on machines, but I contacted 12 voters who were already going out to vote for Dr. DiNovo, and convinced 5 others that they should go. One of these voters was shocked to learn that the race was winnable. “Wow, we can win this? A Democratic house rep from Pearland? I’m gonna tell my friends!”

Tell them Jamail, tell them.

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