November 21, 2007
TLCV endorses Dan Barrett

More good news for Dan Barrett:

The Texas League of Conservation Voters (TLCV), a coalition of Texans committed to clean air, clean water, and access to public lands, water, fish and wildlife, has endorsed Dan Barrett for state Representative in the District 97 Special Election run-off.

"Dan Barrett is the candidate most committed to cleaning up Fort Worth's air, holding polluters accountable, and ensuring that Texas leads the way toward an independent, clean, and sustainable energy future ," said TLCV's executive director, Colin Leyden.

"Unlike his opponent, Dan Barrett has pledged to support a new vision of Texas politics. He rejects the dangerous and extreme ideology that claims we can't have cleaner air, that climate change isn't real, and that we can't have both a strong economy and healthy environment," said Leyden.

In responses to a TLCV District 97 questionnaire, Barrett indicated his support for the following issues that are important to TLCV and conservation voters:

- requiring power plants up-wind of Fort Worth to significantly reduce NOx emissions in order to reduce the burden on local businesses;

- requiring the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to consider cumulative impacts of new coal plant permits in conjunction with all other pollutant emitters;

- working with nearby cement kilns to adopt and meet the best emission control technologies and standards being met by other cement kilns in the U.S

- and helping Texas reduce green-house gas emissions by investing in renewable power sources, supporting viable public transportation systems between major Texas cities, and increasing investment in proven scientific methods for carbon reduction.

Texas leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions, and the Fort Worth-area consistently ranks as one of the worst cities in the nation for air quality. Barrett's opponent, Mark Shelton, did not fill out the TLCV questionnaire despite repeated requests.

TLCV is a non-partisan organization that supports candidates who are committed to conserving our state's natural resources. TLCV endorses candidates using several criteria, including: voting history on conservation issues, campaign platform, and personal efforts toward protecting the water, air and land in Texas.

Excellent. As always, if you're feeling generous, you can show some love to Dan.

By the way, I had mentioned before that the runoff date is December 18. Turns out that the city of Fort Worth has a Council runoff to do as well, and it wanted to do both of them on the 11th, but Governor Perry said no.

The governor's office notified Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief of the runoff date Monday.

"We worked closely with the city and the county to determine a permissible election day to allow adequate time for the campaigns to rev back up and educate voters on the candidates who were running," said Krista Moody, a spokeswoman for Perry.

Asked whether an election day closer to Christmas might hurt turnout, Moody said, "We surely hope not."

Several county officials were expecting Perry to pick Dec. 11. Five early voting locations and 63 polling places had been reserved for that date, said Gayle Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the elections office. Holding the election a week later shouldn't cost the county more money, though staffing may be more difficult, she said.

When asked Monday how election officials felt about Perry's decision, Fort Worth City Secretary Marty Hendrix said: "That's his prerogative. We still get to hold a joint election, which will allow us to save money."

Early voting is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 10-14.

The candidates in the runoffs were decided Nov. 6. Running for the House seat are Democrat Dan Barrett and Republican Mark Shelton. Joel Burns and Juan Rangel Jr. are in the nonpartisan District 9 council runoff.

Barrett's campaign released a statement saying that Perry chose the date to help Shelton. Shelton said the announcement will allow his runoff campaign to start in earnest.

Art Brender, chairman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, predicted last week that Perry would pick Dec. 18 to reduce turnout.

"He considers low turnout to be advantageous to Republicans, but I think he'll be surprised," Brender said.

Stephanie Klick, chairwoman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, said a later election date will give the campaigns more time to reach voters. Runoffs always yield low turnout, she said.

"It's not necessarily about Democrats and Republicans. It's about turnout and who turns their people out," Klick said.

After Perry's announcement, the council approved the Dec. 18 election date for the District 9 race.

Nice try, Governor. Ms. Klick is correct, races like these are about turnout. If you're in Fort Worth, please make sure you show up for this one. Burka and Vince have more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 21, 2007 to Election 2007