Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Videos of the TDP 2006 at YouTube ...

Here are a LOT of videos from the TDP (Texas Democratic Convention) at the YouTube site. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nother photo of my friend "Blogger Bill"

A neat picture on the floor of my new blogging friend whom I've christened "Blogger Bill" :-)

Convention is closed

After a partial consideration of the full platform, a motion was made to:

  1. Refer the remaining resolutions to a future meeting of a resolutions committee

  2. Close the convention

The resolution passed, and the convention was closed.

Impeachment Resolution #1

The first Impeachment Resolution, presented on the floor and correctly proposed based on a 1000+ signed petition, was defeated as written.

IMHO (in my humble opinion) the resolution was not well written although I agreed with the thrust of the resolution.

A second resolution, which came up and was approved by the official Resolutions Committee, is still pending a vote on the floor.

Me on the floor ...

A fellow Blogger (Bill H) showed me a new feature of the Blogger system I was unaware of : there's now a simplified way to use images in the postings.

This picture of me is on the floor of the convention at the blogger table in the front two rows.

StoutDem: a new blogger friend

This is a new blogger friend, Bill Howell [ his blog here. ] He was sitting next to me at the Blogger Table at the Texas State Democratic Convention in Fort Worth.

I used the "Mirror" effect in Photobooth ... one of my favorite images of the convention!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Chris Bell notes

Some choice quotes:

* It's been said that Carole Strayhorn is just "Perry in a suit". Well, Chris says P & C are the same sleeves on the same empty suit!

* Perry's "reign of error" needs to end.

* Stem cell and medical research is personal : his father died of cancer and his wife succesfully fought breast cancer recently.

An interesting date irony ... Delay's last day in Congress

An interesting date irony: the second day of the Democratic State Convention was the last day in Congress for Tom Delay.

And Chris Bell, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee was giving the closing speech at the convention on Friday. Chris Bell was the first to push hard for the Ethics investigations of Tom Delay.

Ted Weisgal's speech

Ted Weisgal was able (with my help, among other friends) to get the requisite 1% signatures (about 150) to run for the Permanent Convention Chair (a two-day job).

The TDP nominated Bob Slagel (former party chair) to be the Permanent Chair.

His main point: that he (Ted) would make sure that ALL resolutions were considered on the full floor instead of the usual practice of marginalization of the more controversial resolutions. He also emphasized that he is an expert at Roberts Rules of Order (he has taught it many times in many contexts).

The vote was put to the floor, and after an SD-by-SD caucus vote, he lost by a vote of 3600 to 1800.

Good effort, Ted!

Words from State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos

Words from State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, District 14:

Republican strategy about jobs;

If a job exists and pays well: fire the workers, outsource the job.

If you have so much money you don't need a job, have a tax cut instead.

It is not hard to say "No Child Left Behind" when they have all been cut off.

"Are you surprised that the Senate is debating Gay Marriage instead of gas prices?"

"We need to use common sense for the immigration issue, not fear and paranoia."

Keynote speech by Wesley Clark

As part of the "Blogger Caucus" I used my Press credentials to join the "blogger table" a few feet from the podium in the Fort Worth arena.

As I write this I'm about 50 feet from Wesley Clark who is delivering the keynote speech. I've not seen him in person before ... his charisma is still great. He used the term "command negligence" when referring to Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks. Rather than asking his staff to

"Why review ancient history? Because it is NOT ancient. We're having to spend our time figuring out a war that we should not have gotten into in the first place!"

"I've been in war. I don't believe in it. And you do NOT go to war unless it is ABSOLUTELY ABSOLUTELY necessary!"

On healthcare: "We have the best healthcare in the world; but 45 million people without healthcare."

"Misuse of science: FDA has to go through a political litmus test. We cannot trust NOAA because it might have data showing Global Warming and we know it doesn't exist.".

"We could be so much better if we had leadership in Washington."

"How did this start? Dividing Americans by fear."

"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! And 2006 is the year!"

"The best way to keep America secure is not to build fences but to build bridges to other countries."

About voting in caucuses

In my SD (Senate District) caucus, I learned about the State Rules regarding the caucus voting process.

At the beginning of the caucus, we were told what we needed to vote on: Team counters, Caucus Chair, committees (Nominations, Rules, Resolutions, and Platform), as well as voting for the SDEC reps (male and female).

SD4 contains multiple counties; mine is Montgomery.

We originally voted on the first two by simple majority vote of the delegates present. Then a motion/objection was raised: by the rules of the Democratic Party it is necessary to vote with "representative voting", meaning that on each vote we were required to vote in our county caucuses, get the vote in each SD, and then count those votes proportional to our respective counties.

This is a way of being able to proportionally represent all of the counties within a district.

It takes more time to do this, but most people (myself included) don't complain.

"Texas Balls" protest at 5:30

A number of folks from Houston (at least, may have gone statewide) came up with a 'Texas Balls" protest at which people would /will bring some kind of ball (or balls!) such as tennis balls, basketball, volleyball, etc.

This is to demonstrate that Democrats DO have balls!

TDP Bloggers' Caucus

Bloggers' Caucus site for the TDP (Texas Democratic Party). The Bloggers' Caucus for the TDP will convene at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth @ 9PM.

Progressive Populist Caucus (PPC) endorses Boyd Ritchie for State Chair (?)

The official vote is in from the PPC caucus : a motion was made for the PPC to endorse Boyd Ritchie for State Chair.

Discussions were held on the motion: one person spoke in favor (Bill Baumbagh of Collin County), one against (Mike ? from the LaRouche caucus, who suggested that NO endorsement be made due to the closeness of the suppot percentages).

The motion was put to the vote.

The chair of the caucus received the vote count, and announced that the resolution passed; however, the vote count was not announced. There was a request for a roll-call vote, and the chair said "no".

I was sitting in the back of the room, and from what I could see the vote was very close. I (and other PPCers) is a bit torqued that not even the vote count was announced.

The chair said that it was necessary to move on to the next agenda item.

Ironically the item was "Verifiable Voting".

I guess "such is politics" .... but I was somewhat disappointed to have seen this happen.

The PPC MUST make sure to protect against this sort of thing in the future: to REQUIRE a statement of vote results (at minimum) and also to provide some sort of PPC credentialing so that PPC resolutions are *truly* only voted upon by PPC members.

Democrats invade downtown Fort Worth

It was fun tonite to see downtown Fort Worth being invaded by Democrats; every where you went you saw Democratic T-shirts, buttons, and discussions.

One of my favorite moments was when David VanOs (candidate for Attorney General) came in to a restaurant and got a round of applause. I think he was surprised at the response, but he reacted quickly, smiled, and proceeded to dinner.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Victoria Kos

Victoria Kos: Miscellaneous Observations, News and Rants about the World Situation from Victoria, TX.

I met two folks from Victoria (slightly southwest of Houston) who are some of the more experienced folk I have met so far.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Twas the Night Before Convention

'Twas the night before convention, and all through the house
[ Whups! I meant Senate! ]
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a Progressive-Liberal mouse

But a LOT of creatures will be stirring in Fort Worth tomorrow ... the Texas Democrats are going to be converging in the thousands.

As a veteran activist (can I say "veteran" after only doing this for four years?) this is going to be much more than a simple photo op (which has been my impression of State and Natinoal conventions I've participated in so far).

Several major points:

  • The State Chair (Charles Schoechting (may have spelled this wrong, if so SORRY! will correct later) resigned two months ago.

  • The State Chair race is pretty heated (not ANGRY, just HEATED) with at least 4 candidates

  • THe Progressive Populist Caucus (PPC) has already proven itself to be a force within the party; and it has helped the
    party as a whole (IMHO) WITHOUT AGENDA by helping to develop and distribute training materials for Precinct
    Chairs (among other things).

  • The PPC sent out an online EMAIL-based survey to as many delegates as it could find EMAILs for (about 900), and
    the results (see this link) are very interesting; my favorite part of the conclusion states:

    Regarding Party reform among respondents, there has been shrinking of those who believe “minor Party adjustments” are needed and an increase in the numbers that “dramatic reform” is needed for a winning Party. Some describe these respondents as “Angry Democrats” who seem determined to repair their party rather than “drop out”.

As David Van Os (candidate for Attorney General) has said on a number of occasions: "this mess in Washington STARTED in Texas. It needs to be cleaned up FROM TEXAS BY TEXANS!"

Yee-haw! Keep an eye on Texas this weekend ... should be a doozy.