As some of you may know, we have been tweeting Senator Craig Estes about his failure to denounce Kathy Perkins (Moms for Guns) on a comment she made during the last visit by the President. She asked, “Where is an assassin when you need one?” While we have become numb to the rants of the depraved ultra right wing of this country, we need to shake it off and start demanding this sort of rhetoric to stop.
We have been asking everyday for Senator Estes to denounce the actions of Ms. Perkins. You might be asking why should Senator Estes become involved. Well, it is simple; Senator Estes personally invited Ms. Perkins to testify in a committee hearing about open carry. Typically when one is invited to give public testimony on an issue, that person is typically invited because they are in support of a committee members position. So, in this case, Senator Estes knows Ms. Perkins and Senator Estes wants Ms. Perkins input because of his stance on the issue.
Leadership is doing what is correct not necessarily expedient. Senator Estes should come forward and publicly denounce what Ms. Perkins said and further, Senator Estes should do it in public. Senator Estes might agree with the principle of open carry but no one should wish for the death of a sitting President even if they differ on opinions. This sort of outrageous behavior can no longer be tolerated and if Senator Estes is the leader he professes to be, he should act like it.
You can reach Senator Estes on his twitter account (@EstesforTexas). You can also reach him by e-mail or can call his office in Austin or his District Office(s) here in Senatorial District 30. Tell the person on the phone, “You are still waiting on Senator Estes to denounce the actions of Kathy Perkins.” If we are going to receive the change we seek, we must work for it, fight for it and collectively call for it. If you do not have a Twitter account, ask for it on Facebook. If you are not in social media then e-mail or call. Senator Estes tells us all the time that he likes to hear from the constituents here in SD 30. Lets let him hear from all of us.
We are still waiting Senator Estes-
SD 30 Texas
You may remember when you were growing up and how proud your friends and family were to see you in the newspaper or on the local news. It may have been forwinning the school spelling bee, having a good game in athletics or at a local event. You may have smiled and tried to be modest but you were filled with the pride people were showing you. Today, we are older but we still like it when we make the news and lately we have been making the news pretty regularly. The only thing about making the news, it needs to be for a positive influence. It should bring about those feelings of joy and pride. I can tell you that the amount of pride and joy I have been feeling is unmeasurable. But once you make the news, it is important to take your time in the light and make the most of it.
The picture above has circulated all over the globe but a picture will only be a footnote in history unless there is a story to go with it. We have to take the energy that picture represents and channel it into the change we seek. There are some facts that are not in dispute. First, the Republicans control the levers of power in the State Legislature, Executive Offices and Judiciary. Second, Democrats have issues with getting the vote out to change the former. Paula Begala said in Austin in May of this year, “Texas is not a red state. It is a non-voting state.” As Democrats we have long complained that it is hard to get our voters engaged in the issues much less turn out and vote. Then something happened that caused all Texans to take notice. They saw their so-called leaders in Austin start taking liberties with their rights. First came the veto of a completely bipartisan bill that would require the Texas Government use Texas and/or American products. The house passed it 145-0 and the Senate passed it 23-7. Then came the veto of the Women’s Fair Pay Bill (Similar to the Lilly Ledbetter Act). The next day he went back on his word and expanded the Special Session to include women’s healthcare issues and dissolution of their rights. While all of this was going on the Attorney General said he would proceed with the Voter ID Law that was in litigation and enact the voting maps the legislature passed in the last session that were redrawn by the judges in San Antonio.
You Take one event on its’ own and mobilization would have been more difficult for the Democrats. What the Republicans did was stack them on top of one another but unlike in times past the public was watching. Not just the party leaders and activists but the entire state. People saw with clear eyes and full hearts the absolute disregard by the Republican Leadership for the people they are supposed to be serving. Then came Senator Wendy Davis. She was spurred on by the resistance of the Democratic House Caucus of a bill that would have negated the rights of women to use quality healthcare and self-determination in using that healthcare. Senator Davis was the last line of defense. She stood tall for 11 hours not just in a filibuster but to voice the words of people from all over this state. She read the testimony that was silenced on Thursday when the Chairman of the House States Affairs Committee closed the public testimony. Those voices were later heard from with about 15 minutes to go until midnight. The Governor, Lt. Governor and Republican Senators to a person called them an “unruly mob”. Some people were thrown into the Travis County Jailhouse including a 70-year-old woman who was not complying quick enough to clear the gallery from what the video looks like. The GOP even tried to falsify a government document which is a 3rd degree felony in this state. The Lt. Governor did not look into that but if the press and a student activist were inciting a riot. The only time I have know that singing the “Eyes of Texas” would incite a riot would be in College Station, Texas or Norman, Oklahoma. Certainly not in the rotunda of the State Capitol.
All of this that has happened and will happen in the second session will be prologue . What we do from here will decide our future. We can not forget what the Republican led leadership in this state did to each and every Texan next fall. The issue will be encapsulated by the GOP and their partner groups as a fight about abortion. I certainly hope that is their stance next year because it will show how disengaged they are. This fight was about so much more. It was about reproductive rights to a point but it was more about the so-called morally right majority forcing its will on the people with no regard to what is morally or ethically acceptable. It was about fairness, due process, access to healthcare and defending life beyond the womb. In relation to that argument, what the Republicans and their groups do not understand, no one wants to see abortion rates rise nor used irrationally. Further, what they do not understand is that choice is exactly what the word implies. Adoption, abortion, using contraception are all choices and that is all that is being defended. What else is being fought for is access to quality healthcare for women, men and children. Something the GOP has yet to figure out as well. We rank 47th in the country in access to healthcare and the Governor refused and his minions in the Legislature blocked efforts to force the Governor to accept OUR Medicare/Medicaid funds. The GOP to a person has refused to offer legislation to start the process of a State Healthcare Exchange to provide affordable healthcare options to the one million plus citizens in this state that do not have healthcare coverage. For a party that runs on family values, it would be humorous if it were not so sad, to have this war on families.
So, you may either be mad or bored. If you are bored, then you did not make it this far. The eyes of the world are on us to see what we do next. Do we just fight for a while then fall back into the same rut and waste this opportunity to take back our State. That is what a number of people in the country think will happen. They think if we get beat in this session that we will just fold up like a lawn chair. It saddens me to say that will happen unless we remember. Do not just remember the fight, the crowds and the pride of being in the paper; remember that the people fighting for each of us are not in control. Remember there is work to be done. Remember we must register people, people like us, to vote. Remember we must phone bank for our candidates and issues next fall, remember we must raise money for our party and our candidates to win next fall and just remember what they did to all of us.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japanese Naval Staff of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto congratulated him on such well planned attack. Yamamoto told his staff he was concerned he had done nothing more than awoke a sleeping giant. The problem here in Texas is that Governor Perry and his minions do not think they have done anything. They do mot think we will rise and fight for what we believe in. They are going to rest on the laurels of gerrymandering and voter suppression. What will you do, fold up and waste our time in the light or take the light and press forward into the good night?
The Struggle Continues
June 23, 2013 may go down as one of those days we will remember where we were. It will either be a day of victory and joy that we defeated a draconian house bill or it will be a day we will rally around for decades. The piece of legislation is important because it invades very personal decisions that are made between a woman, her doctor and her higher power. It also has another importance as well, the prima fascia evidence that there are soulless forces at work in this State and not in just its’ dealings with HB 60.
HB 60 encapsulates what has been the 83rd Texas Legislature. The people of this state asked for OUR Medicare/Medicaid funding to be restored and that was quashed by the GOP leadership in the State House and Senate. The people of this state asked for more funding in education and while 4 billions was put back in, that only means we are back to what we spent on each child 3 years ago. We got a 50 years water plan that the far right is opposing. We did have a complete bipartisan bill to buy American and Texan first. It passed the House 145-0 and the Senate 23-7. The Governor vetoed it saying we did not need it. He vetoed fair pay for women yet he complains when people in this state criticize him for having a war on women.
Going forward, whether the citizens of this state win or lose today with the HB 60 vote, the fact we are here is a wake up call. If we win, we will continue to have these fights and not focus on matters that need our attention as well. If we lose, millions of women will be denied health care in a state that already ranks near the bottom in health care. It can be said and has been said that the majority of Legislators need to be sent home for good. We can not continue to have their priorities out weigh our priorities.
Now there are some good things that are coming out of all of this as evidence from the huge turnout for the “Citizen Filibuster”. The GOP is giving us such a precious gift. The people are seeing the GOP fighting common sense ideas and attacking from the right. Common sense items like education, healthcare and infrastructure. Attacks like the complete overreach of government into the private lives of citizens even though they rail against it. People in this state are starting to see their hypocrisy. There is old rule, when your enemy is destroying itself, stay out-of-the-way.
We have plenty of work to do get our own house in order. We need the rest of Texas to stand up and start making these Legislators and Senators very uncomfortable. We need to write our “Letter to the Editor”, we need to go to town halls and ask questions and we need to show up at public events where they are present and ask questions. We need to ask how they voted on the budget, how they voted on the water strategy, how they voted on HB 60, how they voted on guns in schools and how they voted on requiring the Governor to take OUR Medicare/Medicaid money and set up a State Exchange under Obamacare. In the meantime, we need to be registering people to vote, fundraising, building coalitions with our diverse constituency groups for GOTV and candidate recruitment.
Win or lose today we must push forward. In victory we must take this new wind in our sails, this momentum and push forward. In defeat, we must be resolute and remember. We still remember the glory in tragedy that was the Alamo, and we remember the victory at San Jacinto. In both battles for Texas Independence, settlers of all races and religion set out to free themselves of oppression. We are doing that today. To the Republicans on the other side, this is not just about HB 60, it is about what you and your party stand. On this day, we say no more. If we lose today, we will remember as Texans did in 1836. We will remember the Alamo and we will look forward to our San Jacinto.
The Struggle Continues
In addition to #HB60, #HB16 and #SB5 will be on the floor. If you can’t make it to Austin, you can still help by e-mailing or calling; see below for more info. Watch the live stream of the session starting at 2CST at http://www.texastribune.org/session/831/live/
If you tweet, please go to UniteWomen.org Facebook page for sample tweets along with the twitter handles of the legislators; let them know that we are watching, and we vote!
The citizens filibuster of HB 60 made national news yesterday; below is the link from the Rachel Maddow show.
The committee will reconvene Sunday, keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more information.
In case you missed it, the SDEC had a meeting at the Northhaven Methodist Church in Dallas Saturday June 15. Both your Committeeman and Committeewoman were present and a great deal of decision making was made.
The SDEC approved a strategic and bold plan to start the process to make Texas blue. The overall strategy combines what is said to be an improved web presence, increased social media presence and a increased county to regional presence of the TDP staff.
There are counties strategically placed with in SD 30 that were selected as part of the plan. The plan will be to get those counties up to speed and then to work with surrounding counties. We are getting the overall presentation and will be sharing it with you. We will most likely not publicize it here but present it more in a meeting format so our friends on the other side of the fence will stay surprised.
The new improved web presence and enhanced social media presence will also prove to be very helpful in the coming months. We will be providing more of that over all plan in the coming weeks. We would encourage you to follow the TDP on Facebook, Twitter and on-line at txdemocrats.org. You will see more information there as well.
We also received a report from the Legislative Committee on the recently ended session of the Legislature. We asked again during the general session for vote counts while the legislature is in session. The Chairman of the Committee said he would like to discuss further.
Overall, it was a very productive meeting. I have been told that the workshop presented by the Dallas County Democratic Party was also very informative and productive. We plan to visit with some of the participants of the workshop to get some more specifics.
Finally, we want to wish all of the fathers of any strip a very Happy Fathers Day.
The Struggle Continues,
John & Cindi