October 03, 2008
Endorsement watch: TLCV and Parent PAC

The newspapers (some of them, anyway) may be dragging a bit in getting their endorsements together, but the various PACs and interest groups have been busy. I get a lot of these in my Inbox, way more than I can keep track or or post about, but there's a couple I'd like to highlight here. First up is the Texas League of Conservation Voters, which has a comprehensive list of endorsees here. It's all Democrats, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to how the Lege operates, but what caught my interest is the fact that it's not just incumbents or nominees for sure-thing open seats. They've gone out on a limb and endorsed six challengers to sitting members - Sherrie Matula, Virginia McDavid, Kristi Thibaut, Carol Kent, John McClelland, and Chris Turner - plus five open-seat contenders who would represent a party switch if they won - Joel Redmond, Robert Miklos, Diana Maldonado, Sam Murphey, and Joe Moody. That's putting some skin in the game, and I think it should be applauded, because it's a real risk for them. For every one of these races where they back the wrong horse, their ability to get legislation passed (or blocked) next session diminishes by a little bit. It takes guts to advocate for change like this, and I salute them for it.

Next is the Texas Parent PAC, which annoyingly doesn't have a list of all its endorsees in one convenient place. Looking through my recent email, they're thrown their support behind folks like State Reps. Dan Barrett and Donna Howard, both first-termers (technically, I suppose Barrett is in his zeroeth term), Chris Turner, and open-seat challengers Donnie Dippel and Sam Murphey, who is their most recent endorsee. I'll quote a little from their press release for Murphey:

"Sam Murphey is widely known and respected in Bell County, and his involvement in local civic affairs is unmatched," said Texas Parent PAC board of directors member Charles Olson of Waco. "Sam is receiving bipartisan support throughout the county because people know he is a conservative leader with a track record of accomplishments for Bell County."


"Murphey will hit the ground running in the Texas House of Representatives," Olson added. "He has spent decades working on public policy issues, economic development, and constituent services as District Director and Military and Veterans Liaison for U.S. Representative Chet Edwards." Murphey held those positions during the period of 1991-2007.

He has worked tirelessly to ensure that Fort Hood remains a major Army installation, as well as on efforts to improve the quality of life for Fort Hood soldiers and their families.

Among Murphey's many accomplishments, he helped establish Temple Airport as the Army's processing site for retirement of the UH-1 "Huey" helicopter fleet, helped to keep the Waco VA Medical Center open with expanded service to Central Texas veterans, and played a key role in the establishment of the joint use airport at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Murphey served in the U.S. Army during 1967-1989, with assignments in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, and the United States. In Vietnam, he served as a Field Artillery Forward Observer and Fire Support Officer.

During part of his military career, Murphey had teaching assignments in the Gunnery Department of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. Later as a specially selected Air Officer Commanding at the United States Air Force Academy, Lieutenant Colonel Murphey trained cadet squadrons in military leadership and served as a role model for future officers.

I'm not quoting this to make you feel like a slacker in comparison (or maybe that's just me), I'm doing it because Murphey is running in a district in which no Democrat has any business winning. Look at the 2006 election analysis (PDF) - Bill Moody, the Democratic standard bearer statewide, got 37.9% in HD55. Parent PAC has shown it's not afraid to swing for the fences - they made their bones in '06 by knocking off the despicable Kent Gruesendorf in the GOP primary - but under normal curcumstances this is a race most PACs wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole because the numbers are so daunting. The fact that Murphey has racked up endorsements like these speaks both to his quality as a candidate, and to the overall optimism of Democrats in the state. It's an amazing thing to say, but he has a real shot at winning.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 03, 2008 to Election 2008

Thanks for saluting Texas League of Conservation Voters' guts!

The League will endorse pro-conservation candidates when our endorsement will make a difference and when the candidate wants our endorsement, or when the challenger will be much better than the incumbent given a district's profile, regardless of party affiliation.

We look hard for some true pro-conservation Republicans who want our endorsement. Other states have them - New Hampshire LCV is chaired by a Republican former state senator, for example.

I'm ready to run a personal ad for TLCV: "Republicans wanted. Like long walks on the beach? Picnics in the state park? Deep, invigorating breaths of clean air? Let's hook up!"

Posted by: James Canup on October 3, 2008 1:29 PM
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