Monday, January 28, 2008

Ron Reynolds for Texas HD 27: He’s OK in My Book

I’m sure anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time recently, knows that I support the candidacy of Ron E. Reynolds as the Democratic nominee to run in November for State House District 27.

Now why would I do such a thing? Why support a candidate for an office where there is already a perfectly good Democratic incumbent in State Rep Dora Olivo? It’s not like she is a Craddick-D. So many of my progressive blogger cohorts rant and rave about Craddick D state reps that they are openly opposing in primary contests (when there is one).

No, that doesn’t bother me very much.

As I have said in the past, Craddick Ds are Craddick Ds for reasons of their own, and if they can remain so, get things for their district, and stay in office, then they know their districts better than we bloggers. But the risk is theirs, I guess.

No, Dora Olivo is no Craddick D. What I heard is the same thing that others heard, that Dora was thinking of calling it a day with the 80th Legislature. When I heard that Ron Reynolds was going to file, I thought now that was a great idea. Here we have new young Turk, an up and comer, and a proven leader. But then Dora Olivo filed for another term.

So what do you do? Go by your gut instinct that Reynolds is probably the best thing for the new century? Or back the incumbent? An incumbent who has consistently voted against a woman’s right to choose whether to have or not to have a child? A choice that is the personal choice of a woman, and not ever to be a whim of governmental bodies.

People give Ms. Olivo a pass on her position on abortion because she is a practicing Catholic, and the Church has directed all of its adherents to oppose abortion. And that is exactly why I DON’T give Ms. Olivo a pass on that issue. How dare any government representative put their religious convictions over and above the wishes of a majority of her constituents? How DARE she?

And for similar reasons, Ms. Olivo has presented legislation that would prevent the state of Texas from funding embryonic stem cell research. Because this research makes use of human embryos, embryos that would otherwise be destroyed in an oven, Ms. Olivo opposes it. Opposes it, again, on religious grounds.

So if there are reasons to be against the incumbent, those are two.

But mostly, I am FOR Ron Reynolds. I was very gratified, by the way, that Charles Kuffner, who writes the blog Off The Kuff, has published his recent interview with Ron Reynolds. Kuffner says that he “came away with a good impression of him and I think he’d do a fine job if elected.” Here is the interview.

Mainly what you hear, if you don’t want to listen, is what he has been saying all along, what I captured on video at a fundraiser he had last year that can be seen in 5 parts here.

There is also a question that I think Ron fielded perfectly fine, where he explained a dust-up he got into with the Texas Bar Association a couple of years ago. You should listen to his words. They are words that explain what happened, but he does not use words to excuse himself as others might. His explanation helps you to understand how the events came to pass, but he takes full blame for the events. This is a straight shooter. A man of integrity.

So those of you out there, you bottom feeders who have sought to besmirch the good name of this young man with innuendo and outright lies, maybe you ought to take a listen as well.

Listen to what honor and integrity sound like.

Oh, and also, you bottom feeders who don’t like what I write here and want to continue your smear tactics (which I would hope the Olivo campaign does not approve), go on ahead and leave a comment. If I like it, I will post it. Just beware that I will like it only if it makes you sound like an idiot.


Anonymous said...

Hal -

I must take issue with one statement you make, namely, that Dora Olivo is "no Craddick-D".

I hear this from the Olivo "apologist" folks all the time. And I don't understand how they arrive at such a conclusion.

First of all, if you check out her Campaign Finance Reports, and I suggest everyone does so, you will find that her Democratic sources of money have dried up (ok, actually it was her only big source of Democratic money - TIR).

Now the great bulk of her money now comes from four rather ugly sources:

First is the notorious Craddick controlled HillCo PAC, which you've previously discussed.

Second is the infamous Russel Kelley, the undisputed king of the Republican Mega-Lobbyists.

Third is Randall Erben and Brian Yarbrough, who work as a pair and weigh in at #2 and #3 on the list of multi-million dollar Republican lobbyists. Even Erben's wife has given Dora a good sum of money.

Fourth is rogue's gallery of Republican-backed PACs covering the banking industry, the real estate development crowd, the big pharma crowd, and various corporate PACs, including:

ACC Capital Holdings PAC
Bankers Association of Texas PAC
Texas Credit Union League PAC

Home Builders Association PAC
Greater Houston Builders Associaton PAC
Texas Association of Realtors PAC
Texas On-Site Wastewater Association PAC
Texas Architect's Committee

Glaxo Smith Kline PAC
Abbot Labrotories PAC
Texpac Texas Medical Association PAC
Texas Academy of Physicians PAC
Taro PAC

CenterPoint Energy PAC
Automobile Dealers PAC
Toyota PAC
One Call Concepts PAC
Trinity Industries PAC
Whole Sale Beer Distributors of Texas
Beer Alliance PAC
Licensed Beverage Distributors PAC

The fact is that Olivo is not a loyal Democrat nor an effective legislator. She has alienated so many of her fellow Democrats and now frequently works to sabotage their work - as she did with Jessica Farrar's Women's Protection amendment to HB15.

And locally, though she pays lip service to a grassroots movement against irresponsible development, she joined with Republican Kyle Janek to author the legislation to create the Booth MUD, which gives the county the legal mechanism to enable the section-C tollroad. Read all about it here:

Could the extremely generous contributions from a wide array of real estate developer PACs have anything to do with this?

I mean, she plays ball with Bob Perry, snagged herself thousands in HillCo money, thousands more in Republican lobby money, and thousands more in Republican corporate PAC money. She fights with fellow Democrats in the House and has never supported a local, state or national Democratic candidate, financially or otherwise.

At the end of the day, there is a reason why Reynolds has so many endorsements, including almost every Democratic official in and around HD27, as well as several state house members (who usually follow a no-endorsement, pro-incumbent policy). And it's why Dora's website has an endorsement page that reads, sadly, "Coming Son" (sic)...

Hal said...

Those are all powerful arguments for Dora Olivo's non-Democratic behaviors while in office. Her supporters don't give her a "Craddick D" label simply because they are using the same very narrow definition that I used: whether or not a Democrat voted for Tom Craddick to serve as Speaker in the 80th Legislature.

She didn't. In that very narrow view, then, she is not a "Craddick D". It does not give her a pass for accepting contributions from organizations that promote the conservative agenda. For that she has much to answer for to her Democratic constituency.

Anonymous said...

were I in HD27, I, too, would vote for ron reynolds.

cheers and best wishes to ron, here's hoping he wins that primary!