It’s time to move over…

Interview with Richie 6/14/2010

“It’s true that of the 29 statewide offices available, the Texas Democratic Party doesn’t hold a single one. The party’s chairman, Boyd Richie, says it’s legitimate to criticize the Democrats for that — but not to blame him for it.”  

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/texas-democratic-party/tdp-chair-faces-a-challenge-from-michael-barnes/

It’s all about values

During a very close game, where it was do or die, win or go home, a quarterback called a desperate play he dubbed the “Hail Mary Pass”.  The team won.

That is the story of the TDP the past few years, one Hail Mary Pass after another.  The TDP has not learned from professional football teams that develop game plans that the whole team gets tested on how well they learn the plans and then they practice until they can execute their plan better than the opposing team.  It works.  Those teams that go on the field disorganized, well, they get whoopped.  Organization starts at the top.  With the coach.  We Democrats cannot allow the TDP to continue down this road.  We have been there too many times, too often.  It is time for all Democrats to start calling for the TDP Chair to step down so the rebuilding can start.  The new beginning cannot start with old wine in old bottles.  All the groups inside the big tent must realize and understand that they cannot have the whole pie.  It is not about who owns the biggest slice of the pie but contributing the necessary ingredients (values) to make the pies.

It’s all about values

Here we go again.  When will it stop.  Looks like the DNC and the TDP concocted another Dream Idea (as opposed to Dream Teams) that somehow since so many Republicans are trying to replace KBH that the winner will come out of the Primary wounded, a real bloody mess.  Goes to show how neither one of them understands Texas politics.  The Republican primary is not about an intelligent discussion about issues.  Never has been, probably never will be.  No one is going to take a position that will alienate the base of the party.  The Republican primary is a race to see who is the most conservative.  How far right can a candidate go?  Look at your governor.  He got elected never really taking a stroll to the center.  The Democratic base is going to be looking for solutions, the Republican base is going to be looking for positions.  Pick a Republican favorite, abortion.  Republican position, pro-life.  Democrat solution, pro-abortion.  Guess who is going to get the most votes in Texas?  Here is a typical issue, immigration.  Democratic solution some sort of amnesty.  Republican position no amnesty.  In Texas, whom do you think has the most votes?  It’s all about values and it is all about Texas.  Washington values do not apply in Texas.  The TDP needs to stop fantasizing and raise 100M to help the latest Dream Pick get elected.  Anything less, I go with my pick for TDP chair, Fidel Acevedo.

Published in: on May 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s all about values

I shelled out $5,000 to run as a Democrat expecting a nominal degree of support from the party, especially county chairs that can and often do control access to the media.  I am not a new Democrat.  I am a proud Democrat that has seen the party go downhill for several years now.  There is no one person to blame for this demise.  It just happened.  There were and there are many contributors.  The biggest contributor was and is complacency.  Another contributor was the belief that you had to be “qualified” to run for office.  Qualified was never quite defined but in many cases unless you were annointed by the illuminati, you were not qualified.  Education, titles, degrees, experience did not matter.  What mattered was the annointment.  In my travels across the state I have met many fine Democrats.  They have all been helpful to me and have given me invaluable advise as a candidate.  These Democrats have introduced me to a world that as a young boy from South Texas never ever dreamed of seeing or living.  To these Democrats I say “thank you”.   The current condition of the TDP has many contributors but as they say in sports, “you always fire the coach”.  The coach of the TDP is the chair.  I never met anyone out there who had anything personal against the TDP chair.  I certainly don’t.  I believe in the two party system.  I believe it makes our Democracy more honest.  There is this mistaken belief that “safe” districts were made for Democrats.  There is no such thing as a “safe” district for a Democrat.  And acting like a Republican does not make the incumbent Democrat safe.

The process of rebuilding has to start now.  The TDP is surrounded by mythology.  One of the biggest is in regards to Hispanics.  Trying to lure votes by dangling Hispanics in front of the electorate.  That is not going to sway an election.  The electorate is much more intelligent than that.  Which brings me back to the same issue.  You win and lose elections based on values.  The Republicans in Austin are having a field day with Santuary Cities, Voter ID, Redistricting, abortion and the list goes on.  This is a test of your hearing.  Can you hear  the public complaining?  Democrats for sure but you have to remember History lesson two or three.  “To the victor belong the spoils”.  Folks the Republicans are feasting.  The current leadership of the TDP and including the DNC are responsible for the downward slope.  Time for new leadership.

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Texas Democratic Party Chair – Texas Democratic Party, Texas Democratic Party Chair, Felix Alvarado

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Texas Democratic Party Chair – Texas Democratic Party, Texas Democratic Party Chair, Felix Alvarado.

It’s all about values…

Veteran’s Affairs.

This agency is a severe blight on America’s soul.  Most people acknowledge the veteran, but not all veterans are the same.  I am a disabled veteran.  I am a disabled peacetime veteran.  There are others who are peacetime veterans.  There are those who made the military their career.  These career soldiers served in some war or another, some had more than one combat tour.  Some military people were killed serving their country, others wounded, others just served.  I am one of those that just served.  I had opportunities to be involved in combat but I was fortunate that the enemy never attacked when it was my time to play soldier.  I was exposed to Agent Orange and from what I understand now it was pretty nasty stuff.  My disability was caused in peacetime.  A year ago I was operated for a peacetime injury.  I applied for compensation.  For over a year I have heard VA say “we are working on it”.  Letters to the secretary and the president have not been answered.  When I identify myself as a veteran I hear people say thank you for your service.  I do not want “thanks,” I want someone to make the VA get off its butt.  Is that possible?  Where are the elected officials?  Why aren’t they doing something about the service from the VA?  I also hear, “VA has too much work.”  VA is the most urgent matter that the Congress has.  Where is the Congress?

Last topic is inclusion.  What does the word mean?  How is it practiced?  I have personal experience with the Democratic Party and inclusion.  In my experience it has been more exclusive than inclusive.  When I ran for Congress the first time, county chairs took me under their arm and gave me advice about being a politician.  One piece of advice that they gave me was to get a hold of Martin Frost, find out his schedule and be at all his events.  That was easier said than done.  Or as a pundit explained, “Martin has to see Barton every day.  They are buddies.  Martin is not going to endanger his relationship with Joe to help you”. Then there was the infamous hot check.  As I recall the TDP chair removed my name from the ballot because the check did not clear.  Well this time the check did clear.  However, this time the TDP chair decided that only the anointed one would be the only one welcomed at the county level and all of us were excluded by most county chairs.  Funny thing, the TDP did not return anybody’s check.  The TDP kept the money. So if we are talking about inclusion, transparency, and accountability we need to play with a full deck.  Thus far, the TDP has not played with a full deck.  Manipulating elections favoring some candidates over others is not necessarily democratic.

Four years ago I said that what the Democratic Party needed was leadership.  Today, I repeat my words of four years ago.  What the Democratic Party needs is leadership.  I believe that it is wrong to fabricate some great hope, building everybody’s hopes when the party does not realize that the leadership is out of step with Texas politics.  Old style closed room, cigar chomping people making decisions as to who was going to represent the party, well those days are over.

It’s all about values…

What is the meaning of this?  Values do not change, they take on new meaning.  When you speak of Social Security to today’s young people their world view of social security is a lot different than that of my generation.  Today’s young people are more concerned with the quality of their retirement than they are about saving social security.  Social security is worth saving only if it provides for a comfortable retirement.  Anyone who has parents living on social security can see that in many cases it is not providing a comfortable retirement.  With all the fear mongering about social security out there it is difficult for someone today to trust their future to the government.  Of course you hear right wing talking heads instill the fear of government to people every day.  Medicare is in a similar scenario.  Once Washington started tapping into the fund, before too long there was a shortage of money then there was the fear that it was not going to be solvent and the drama continues ad infinitum.  The only ones who benefit are the insurance companies who stand to gain from any weakness in Medicare.  It is safe to say that the problem with Social Security and Medicare is Washington, or as conservatives say “big government.”  Paradoxically, we continue sending back to Washington the same people who created the problem.  So we can say that “we” are the problem.

Education has been so maligned by people inside and outside education that one has to wonder if our children will be prepared for the future in today’s public schools.  The alternative to public schools are charter schools, vouchers and privatization.  Saying no to vouchers and privatization only emboldens the other side.  The anti-public school crowd has plenty of negative studies on their side to justify their position.  The easiest way to get a Democrat wrapped around the axle is to mention vouchers or privatization.  An argument over this topic is not worth the time of day.  We should have learned already that you can get anything you want if you are willing to pay for it.

Union support for the Democratic Party is overhyped.  As a Democrat who has run for office, I have looked for union support only to find nothing.  As a school teacher I know that unions are the only check that teachers have against capricious and arbitrary administrators.  The myth about not being able to get rid of bad teachers is exactly that, a myth.  Administrators have never had a problem getting rid of bad teachers and unions and teachers groups will not support a teacher when the teacher is clearly wrong.  Unions gain more by getting along with administrators than they do protecting incompetent teachers.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

It is all about values..

I am a Social Studies teacher.  As a Vietnam veteran who lived and experienced the civil rights era, I am witness to a student population that could care less about any trials and tribulations of those who participated in these events.  To many students these events are just footnotes in history.  Most of the parents of today’s student population themselves have no recollection of these historical events.  I grew up in the Westside of San Antonio.  You would think that as a barrio boy I would automatically bond with today’s students.  Not so.

Today’s barrio is much different than the one I grew up in.  I am certain that barrio kids today love their parents, brothers and siblings, that they have barrio friends just as I did.  So what is different?  The values have not changed, what has changed are the circumstances and surroundings.  Many of us grew up hearing “I made it, you can make it.”  Today’s kids are more apt to say, “You made it, I can make it”.

Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It is all about values…

For a while I have said that in politics it is all about values.  Values make you a Republican a Democrat or an independent.  Values make a statement about you.  Values establish a bond between people that is hard to dissolve.  If you ask someone to describe a Republican this is what you may get back:

Pro-Life          Pro-Gun          Pro-God          Pro-family      Small government

Low taxes       Anti-abortion                          Balanced budget

Anti-Gay         Strong military                       Pro-business

Ask someone to describe a Democrat and this is what you may get back:

Tax and spend             Pro-abortion

Big government          Weak on military

Big spender                 Anti-second amendment

Keeping in mind that these are merely perceptions.  One of the enduring lessons from my military experience is that perceptions are reality.  Or, as one of my supervisors once said, “don’t confuse me with the facts.”

It’s all about values

The first lesson in values to be learned by Democrats is going to be:

Perceptions are reality.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment