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October 19th, 2002:

Every little bit helps

If John Sharp wins the Lt. Governor’s office by one vote, he can thank me for that vote.

Be sure to read the comment that I left regarding former City Councilwoman Martha Wong, by the way.

Answering my own question

Just got a knock on the door from a couple of Tony Sanchez campaign volunteers who were passing out a flyer for an Early Vote Rally and Barbecue being held downtown. Bad day for it, unfortunately, as it’s been raining on and off most of the day, but it’s nice to see some activity. The sponsors of the event are listed as State Senator Mario Gallegos, State Rep. Jessica Farrar, City Controller Sylvia Garcia, City Councilman Gabriel Vasquez, the Southwest Voter Registration & Education Project, and the Inner City Learning Centers, both of which are “501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan” organizations.

Where are the Hispanic voters?

This Chron article says that Tony Sanchez’s efforts to recruit and energize new Hispanic voters has fallen short of its goal, which in turn may cost him in November. I’m not convinced that it’s a fatal flaw, on the grounds that Hispanic voters historically have turned out in lower numbers than black and Anglos (at least in Texas). Sanchez will be working to get more of those already-registered folks to turn out this year. Though it’s admittedly not clear how successful that effort will be, this article gives no indication of where that effort now stands. I’m a bit surprised that R.G. Ratcliffe failed to note the Sanchez campaign’s claim of having rented every van in the state, a claim I’ve also seen reported in the San Antonio Express-News.

There is some good news for Democrats in this story:

The bright spot in the state coordinated campaign organization, said some Democrats who did not want their name used, is that state Rep. Terri Hodge of Dallas has developed a strong get-out-the-vote effort for black voters.

In the Democratic primaries, Kirk pushed U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen of Houston out of the runoffs with a surprisingly strong showing among Dallas black voters. Kirk won the runoff over schoolteacher Victor Morales.

There’s some excellent coverage in this thread at the MyDD web page.

Kirk v. Cornyn, the debate

Ron Kirk and John Cornyn took part in a televised debate here last night. Both came out swinging, with Enron being a particular point of contention:

“You basically served as in-house counsel for Enron,” Kirk told Cornyn, the state’s attorney general, who has received thousands of dollars in Enron-related campaign donations during his political career. “The bad news is the people of Texas were paying you at the time.”

Cornyn, noting that Kirk’s Dallas law firm did work on behalf of the former energy trader, asked Kirk, a former Dallas mayor, whether he felt he could still work in the public’s interest.

“What I think the people of Texas want to know is how you can stand here and attack me on Enron when your law firm took $180,000 from Enron,” Cornyn said.

[…]

Central to the exchange over Enron, Kirk took Cornyn to task for a ruling that allowed Enron to keep financial information secret as it pursued business in the state’s deregulated utility market.

Cornyn’s opinion was issued just weeks before Enron’s finances began publicly unraveling.

Noting that Cornyn accepted $193,000 in contributions from the company and its employees, Kirk said the attorney general’s ruling “rewarded them well” for the political support.

Cornyn responded that his ruling was in compliance with law, and that he subsequently recused himself from handling any aspect of investigating Enron.

They debate again in Dallas on Wednesday.

Chron endorses Goodhair and Sharp

The Chron gave its endorsements for Governor and Lt. Governor today, going with Governor Goodhair and John Sharp. Neither of these comes as a surprise to me. Sharp is exactly the kind of fiscal conservative/social moderate that the Chron generally likes, while Rick Perry is a Republican running for Governor, which has been sufficient for every Chron endorsement since at least 1990. If you think I’m just being a bitter partisan, read the following paragraph:

But the point is that Perry has experience and a record he is willing to defend. As a member of the Texas House, as the state’s agriculture commissioner, as lieutenant governor and as governor since December 2000, Perry has a long track record and knows how the state Capitol works.

and ask yourself how they can square it with their endorsement of zero-experience zero-record outsider Clayton Williams over long-track-record-in-state-government Ann Richards in 1990. However balanced they may be in other endorsements, the Chron simply likes Republican candidates for Governor. Period.