Monday, June 18, 2007

You Thought I Was Alone, Didn’t You . . .

Actually I am a spokesman of a Texas countywide organization of Democrats who want to see Rick Noriega declare his candidacy for US Senate. He is the clear choice of any Democrat who wants to support a candidate who has a public service record that would put sitting Senators and Congressmen alike, and maybe a few Presidents and Vice Presidents for that matter, to absolute and utter shame.

Money doesn’t cut it. Want to buy an office? Shop at OfficeMax.

I have many allies.

I have a local grassroots organization that I have joined. They represent a bloc of authors of weblogs that support the same progressive ideals that I do. We all rally under the same banner:

We write the following blogs:

Burnt Orange Report
Brains and Eggs
Capitol Annex
Dos Centavos
Eye On Williamson
Feet to Fire
Me Yeah, Hal, me.
Off the Kuff
South Texas Chisme
Stop Cornyn
Texas Kaos
Wise County Active Democrats

We are a subset of an extant group of bloggers from the Texas Netroots bloggers who support State Representative Rick Noriega for US Senate from Texas. We arose from a group known as the Texas Progressive Alliance, but are comprised of just those of us TPA members who support Lt. Col. Rick Noriega as our preferred candidate for US Senate.

We post on this website:

Please visit us often.

We believe that Texas holds a key to a super majority in the House and Senate. The Republicans have targeted our state as prime defending territory. We intend to challenge that defense with an overwhelming shake-up – Democrats will once again write the rules, and pass the laws in this state. But above all . . . we will fight to bring our soldiers home from this illegal War and Occupation of Iraq.

Members, does that just about sum it up? I think so.


boadicea said...

Very well said, sir.

Also, Off the Kuff is with us. He asked to be added to the blogroll last evening.

Anonymous said...

I'm under that same banner, too.

Anonymous said...

Help me understand the "draft Rick" movement.

I'm a Democrat. I'll be supporting our Democratic nominee in November.

I have read about Mikal Watts and his views on getting our troops out of Iraq (good) and on abortion (bad). I could vote for Watts, but I'd be more than happy to hear about another candidate.

But I'm hinky about another "draft" movement.

If Noriega isn't excited enough to run without a draft movement begging him to get into the race, what would make anyone think he's excited enough to run a winning campaign? Last time we "drafted" a candidate, Tony Sanchez got his ass handed to him!

Plus, I think I understand why Noriega is reluctant to run and why people are having to "draft" him. Noriega just finished getting re-elected and serving in the 80th Legislature, and then he went straight to his wife's city council election (which she won, yay!), and now he's going straight to his wife's re-election (she's up again in 5 months because she was just elected to fill a partial term), and THEN and ONLY THEN can Noriega focus full-time on any potential senate race. And if Noriega gets into the race, he'll have to campaign full time for another whole year -- essentially following up 3 campaigns over 2 and a half years with another year of hard campaigning. Isn't Ricky, Jr. just 10 years old? Good lord, you'd have to "draft" my ass too if you thought you could get me run for Senate after 3 campaigns over the previous 2 and a half years.

Noriega is a great guy, but why are we drafting him and not, for example, Senfronia Thompson?

What major pieces of good legislation did Noriega successfully author or sponsor this past session? I give Noriega credit for hard work on the teacher pay raise, but that’s all I’m aware of. I’m not complaining because lots of good Democrats didn’t get anything major done this past session, but if we’re going to choose someone to draft, why Noriega?

Let’s look at Noriega’s votes from this session:

Why did Noreiga vote for HB 1098 which prevented girls entering the sixth grade from getting vaccinated against the human papilloma virus?

Why did Noriega vote for HB 109 to make it harder for the state to provide healthcare for the children of illegal immigrants?

Why did Noriega vote for HB 2683 which was Warren Chisum’s stupid marriage tax?

Why did Noriega vote for HB 3678 which was Charlie Howard’s prayer in public school bill?

Why did Noriega vote for HB 284 which makes it OK to shoot people who come onto your property?

Why did Noriega vote for HB 8 which expands the death penalty (which is already too way expansive in Texas) and makes it more difficult for victims of familial sex abuse to report it?

I can live with these votes, and if Noriega runs and wins the nomination, I’ll support him fully, but if we’re going to draft someone who seems reluctant, why “draft Rick”?

boadicea said...

This isn't begging anyone.

What the Draft Rick Noriega movement is about is demonstrating that there is a foundation for a people powered candidate to rise in Texas.

Mikal Watts has deep pockets, but that isn't the only thing required, or we would have had Governor Tony Sanchez. I don't think anyone would properly categorize the Sanchez campaign as people powered-and the political landscape online has opened up a lot since those days.

That's what the Draft Rick Noriega movement is about. If you want to draft Senfronia Thompson (whom I hold in highest respect) then make the case for her.

Rick is an experienced legislator who's served his nation both in Afghanistan and also on the Texas/Mexico border.

In short, he's a leader, and that's what Texas needs. I don't doubt I'll disagree with some of his votes, but I'll never doubt his leadership ability nor his willingness to champion legislation that will benefit everyday Texans instead of the Boards of Directors of Texas.

That's what the draft movement is about.

Anonymous said...

Joe Six Pack - the answers to all of your questions is: because he's running for the Senate!!!!

Hal said...

What, Joe, are you going to leave the exact same comment at every Draft Rick Noriega blog? I just read this same comment by you at Off the Kuff!

Fred Head did the same thing in the last election and it made him look silly when people finally figured out that it was him.

Romance novelists outted him.

But ok, since you asked . . .

So Joe, what is it abut CHIP (HB 109)that you don't like? It wasn't perfect but it was better than what was there.

And I have it on good authority that Rick Noriega voted against the HPV vaccine because it was the overwhelming opinion of those in his district that the vaccine should not be offered. Right or wrong,this guy votes the way his constiuents want him to.

You're going to fault him for voting for Jessica's Law? He and 121 other state reps including Anchia, Dunnam, Hochberg, Martinez-Fisher? I don't like the death penalty either, but take a look around you. Most Texans think it's pretty much okey dokey.

Same with HB 284 (SB 378, actually). I don't agree with it either but, shall I say it, this is Texas.

Howard's and Chisum's bills?

Howard's bill doesn't give students anything that they don't already have. It was meaningless, another attempt by evangelicals to point out how the religious majority in this country are being persecuted by secularists.

Chisum's marriage bill? Again, that was a 130 to 11 vote. I am guessing that this was not the place or time to take a moral stand. And in thinking about it, it probably is a good thing to have a class that tells you about the effects of shaking your baby. There's always something that someone doesn't know that might turn out to be useful.

And no, I don't see Rick Noriega as "Reluctant to run". He's seriously considering it. One thing you need to consider is what kind of support you will have.

That's why we are here.

Anonymous said...


I asked these questions originally at here and, when they didn't post after a while, I asked them at Off The Kuff (which I found through Mr. Kuffner's post above).

I completely 100% agree with you that deep pockets are not the only (or best) criteria for electing a Senator (or any office for that matter). As I said, I think Watts's views on abortion are bad, and I'd be more than happy to hear about another candidate.

My question was simply why "draft Rick" as opposed to drafting someone else? As I understood your response, the answer was because Noriega (1) is people powered, (2) has legislative experience, and (3) served in Afghanistan and on the Texas/Mexico border.

First, I'm -- again -- 100% in agreement with you that a people powered candidate is good. I'm asking in a sincere fashion what makes Rick Noriega more people powered than, for example, Garnet Coleman, or Senfronia Thompson, or Rafael Anchia, or Scott Hochberg, or Mark Strama? I share with you the preference for a people powered candidate. I'm just not in the know about what makes Noriega more people powered than the next guy (his list of campaign contributors don't necessarily give this impression).

Second, how is Noriega's legislative experience more distinguished than Garnet Coleman's, or Senfronia Thompson's, or Rafael Anchia's, or Scott Hochberg's, or Mark Strama's? I'm not complaining about Noriega, but I'm looking to understand why his legislative experience is extraordinary. I assume that there is some reason why there is a "draft Rick" movement and not, say, a "draft Garnet" movement. I'm asking for your insight into this question.

Finally, with regard to Noriega's service in Afghanistan and on the border, I love that he has served the country. Is it impertinent to ask how these experiences have affected his views on what we should do at the border and whether we should get out of Iraq immediately? I just want to know because I'm a bit concerned with regard to border issues because of his vote for HB 109 and, despite the fact Noriega's a vet, I have not heard his voice in the peace movement. I’m looking for answers. Is that wrong?


Those votes caught my attention because they are votes where I would have come down the other way, but I listed them because they cast a picture of a middle of the road Democrat, rather than someone who is especially progressive or leading the legislature in a new direction. I'm trying to better understand why there is a "draft Rick" movement and not a "draft Someone else" movement -- I trying to figure out who picked Rick and why.

Are you insinuating that I am Watts when you say "One thing you need to consider is what kind of support you will have"? Perhaps you missed the part where I said Watts's views on abortion were "bad" and "I'd be more than happy to hear about another candidate" besides Watts.

Finally, if Noriega isn't reluctant to run, why is anyone having to "draft" him?

Hal said...

No, Joe, I wasn't insinuating that you are a Watts supporter. Others think you are but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

That you missed the point of my second to last sentence explains why you are confused on whether Rick Noriega is reluctant to run.

(ARE you a Watts supporter?)

Rick is not reluctant to run but in politics it's not wise to step into something this big without getting a grasp on the interest and support.

That's what we are out here doing, Joe, helping him gauge that interest. He didn't ask us to do this, he didn't have to. Most of us know him personally or by deed.

Finally, Joe, if you are looking for a Texas Democrat running for Senate that will agree with each and every one of your opinions, go and vote for him or her.

Me, I'll settle for an electable candidate who I know has high integrity and a track record for public service.