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June 12th, 2008:

Council delays Metro vote

City Council has delayed for a week a vote on the consent agreement with Metro to build more light rail lines.

“I think we have a good agreement,” said Councilwoman Sue Lovell, “and at some point in time we have to step up and take a vote.”

Councilman Peter Brown agreed, saying that when it comes to mass transit, Houston is “woefully behind Atlanta and behind Denver.”

“Delay just sends the wrong message,” he said.

Councilwoman Pam Holm said that after waiting so long for rail, council can afford to study the document another week before voting.

“This will be the backbone of a transportation system for the next 100 years,” Holm said.

Councilwoman Jolanda Jones said she gave Metro a list of questions Tuesday and wanted to hear the answers before voting.

Councilman Ron Green said that although he supports rail, he felt like he was being asked to vote on “a blank sheet of paper.”

“I want to get assurances from Metro that they have told us everything we need to know to make a decision and that everything they need is in the agreement, and that they won’t come back later and want to change it,” Green said after the meeting.

Metro CEO Frank Wilson said Metro will address council members’ concerns. A week’s delay would have no major effect on the transit agency’s plans, he said.

I don’t know if the fussing Council had done previously had an effect, but the comments here are pretty calm. As I said before, I expect this will pass overwhelmingly when it does come up for a vote, which should be next week.

Interview with Chris Turner

Next up in my series of convention interviews is yet another Tarrant County candidate, Chris Turner, who is running against the egregious Rep. Bill Zedler in HD96. This is another purple district (the list of such district in the Metroplex that Blank left in the Miklos interview post is spot on), where Bill Moody got 47.2% and Zedler squeaked by with 54.2% against a candidate who I’m told did no campaigning at all. Turner is a former legislative director for Rep. Chet Edwards, who knows a thing or two about winning in and representing red areas, and like everyone I’ve ever met who has worked for Edwards is smart and on the ball. This is a top tier race for the Democrats, and you can listen to learn more about Chris Turner here.


State Rep. Dan Barrett, HD97.
Wendy Davis, SD10.
Robert Miklos, HD101.

Today’s blog news today

Are you looking for the opportunity to get into blogging, but aren’t quite ready to pick a domain name and wrestle with stylesheets and whatnot? Consider joining the Texas Kaos team:

Now that we’ve all survived, more or less, the Democratic Presidential Primary and the Texas State Democratic Convention time to take stock and prepare for the run up to the general election.

For us here at Texas Kaos, that includes filling some additional front page slots to flesh out our coverage of Texas news and politics more fully. We’re looking in particular for bloggers in rural Texas, San Antonio and El Paso. Also, Latino, African and Asian-American writers may consider themselves actively being recruited.

If you’re interested in joining us on the TK frontpage, please send an email to tk.frontpage at gmail with the following info:

1. Your name (or pseudonym that you blog under) and preferred contact method.

2. Your location and/or area of focus, including your home blog, if any.

3. At least 3 and up to 5 writing samples. If you have your own blog, links are fine. If you wish to use other writing samples, send those in the email with publication notes

All positions are unpaid. We ask that you post at least twice a week whenever possible.

If you have any questions about the position or TK in general, please feel free to ask them at the above email address.

Fire up those blogging fingers, y’all!!!

As Vince notes, bloggers from all over the state came out for the Bloggers Caucus last week – you can see a list along with a Google map of their locations here – and we in the Texas Progressive Alliance hope to forge some new connections and extend our network from that. We’re also looking to connect up with bloggers who couldn’t be there last Thursday. If you’re a progressive who blogs about Texas politics and we don’t already know who you are, leave a comment or drop me a line. Texas has one of the stronger blog networks in the country, and we intend to show it off a bit at Netroots Nation this year.

Finally, some additions to my own blogroll, thanks in part to the Dem convention:

Mean Rachel, yet another cool Austin blogger.

MOMocrats, who were well represented at the Bloggers Caucus and in the press room by Julie Pippert.

Charlie Lindahl, who took a lot of excellent pics in Austin.

There…Already, a talented African-American group blog with a Houston presence.

Texas Education, by a teacher/education activist friend of mine.

The Bloggess, who wasn’t at the convention and isn’t particularly political as far as I know, but who cracks me up, and Lord knows we could all use more of that.

Meet the man who’s taking on Tom Craddick

BOR has an invitation for those of you in Austin tonight.

Bill Dingus is in town tomorrow at the historic Scholz Beer Garten, and this is a chance to talk to the man with the guts to take on Tom Craddick.

June 12, 2008 * 5:30-7:00
Scholz Beer Garten
$20 Donation Suggested

Bill Dingus is running for State Representative against Tom Craddick in House District 82.

Come have a cold drink with Dingus, who not only has the courage to stand up to Craddick but also a real commitment to bringing change to the Capitol.

Contributions are not required, but I am sure all donations will be deeply appreciated.

If you can’t come by, please visit Bill’s web site:

This race typifies why we need Democrats up and down the ballot. With Dingus in the race Craddick is required to filed TEC reports, spend time and the district, and answer to the press. In addition, Dingus is a former elected and stellar candidate. This is a year for change, and maybe the stars will align perfectly and Dingus becomes the first Democrat to represent HD-82 in over three decades.

Come by, talk change, and join us in meeting one of the most courageous candidates for the Texas House.

There was a challenge to Dingus’ spot on the ballot, but as of this time he remains a candidate. I’d love to ask him a few questions about his race; maybe he’ll come to Houston at some point.

Help Max crash the parties

My friend Max Cardenas is in a contest called Crash the Parties in which Si TV and Voto Latino are looking to select two reporters to carry the Crash the Parties mic and represent their community at the national conventions. He’s leading in the vote total, but you can vote every day during the run of this contest, so he needs all the support he can get. Here’s his pitch:

This is a contest sponsored by Voto Latino (one of the largest Latino voter outreach programs in the United States) to be a news correspondent for cable network SiTV. The contest is part of an outreach program aimed at young potential voters. It is my hope to get chosen to raise awareness among young voters and get them to move beyond the ballet boxes and involved in the Democratic process.

I am still in 1st place but need your help to stay there. Please use this link to go vote for me.

You will be asked to register with the website to vote but it take about the same amount of time as it does to fill out a Voter Registration Card.

I’ve voted for Max and hope you will as well. Thanks very much.