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Pretty much every newspaper against Prop 2

The LGRL has a roundup of anti-Prop 2 editorials, while BOR has some more they missed – see here and here for the editorials, and here for an impressive array of Travis County officeholders who spoke out against it. I’ll echo what Karl-T said in the first link – as far as I know, no paper has advised a vote for Prop 2. I’m not deluded enough to think that these endorsements will make a big difference in the final vote, but it’s always good to see people do the right thing.

Which brings me to this Statesman article (via DC9) about a potential for backlash against the Democratic State Reps who helped put Prop 2 on the ballot.

As gay-rights activists launch an all-out attack on a constitutional measure banning same-sex marriage in Texas, they face an uncomfortable fact: A few lawmakers who received their support in the past helped push the proposed amendment through the Legislature.

Some amendment foes view the vote as a betrayal, but with few good alternatives, they appear uncertain about whether to dish out punishment in next year’s election.

Legislators such as Reps. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, who had received support from gays or endorsements from gay-rights organizations, were among 18 Democrats who cast votes in April that moved the amendment out of the House with barely the two-thirds margin it required.

[…]

“Richard Raymond and Patrick, in my mind, sent it over to the Senate,” said Mary Ross Taylor, who is gay and is an active volunteer for the Democrats in Hays County, which Rose represents. “The word we heard a lot of was ‘disappointment.’ ”

Rose and Raymond had also joined nine other Democratic representatives a week earlier in voting to ban gays or bisexuals from serving as foster parents. The proposal eventually died in a conference committee.

[…]

But the prospect for Democrats of withdrawing votes or money from someone like Rose is tricky; his opponents in the past two elections in his tightly contested district south and west of Austin have been Republicans who oppose gay rights.

“Who else will those disillusioned Dems vote for?” Taylor asked. “That is the problem for progressive voters in Patrick’s district. The alternative is likely to be worse.”

Glen Maxey, a former Democratic House member from Travis County who runs No Nonsense in November, a campaign to defeat the marriage amendment, agreed.

“There’s not a single Republican on this planet who’s preferable to Patrick Rose,” said Maxey, who is gay. “I think Patrick cast a political vote, and we hope to show in the November election that Patrick’s vote was incorrect.”

[…]

Raymond, who hails from a bluer district, said he simply “voted his district” as he prepares to run for a U.S. congressional seat. The district stretches north from the border to Hays County.

“Laredo is not New York,” Raymond said.

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” he said. “I think the constituents I represent support the position I took on those two votes.

“Anybody that looks at my record through my career can see that I’m a true Democrat who has stood and fought for everybody and stands by the ideals that define our party.”

[…]

“This is a dilemma that always crops up with interest groups that too narrowly define themselves on one issue or another,” Kelly Fero, a Democratic strategist, said. “Do they hold politicians to a standard of purity that ends up hurting them, the interest group? Do you let perfect be the enemy of the good? That is the dilemma they face.”

I’m sympathetic to the activists, because it sure as hell hurts when someone you see as a strong ally refuses to support you on a core issue like this. But I’m also a firm believer in the half-a-loaf, and for sure a minority party has to be awfully careful about purging people.

That said, there are opportunities to extract a little payback without necessarily giving a seat away. Richard Raymond is running in a contested primary against Henry Cuellar in CD28. Ciro Rodriguez, who had a pretty darned progressive record while he was in the House, is also in that race. I’m sensitive to arguments that Raymond is in the stronger position to take out Cuellar, based on financial and geographic considerations. I may well wind up burying the hatchet and supporting Raymond myself. But I’ll certainly understand anyone who chooses to support Ciro Rodriguez instead, even if that reduces the chances of removing Cuellar. If you can’t stand on principle in a primary, there’s pretty much no other place to do it.

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4 Comments

  1. Marie says:

    The choice is easy for me and for most progressives. I don’t buy the line that the 28th is a Laredo district. Granted, Ciro should have done a better job of GOTV. Only 1% of South San Antonio bothered to cast a vote in the primary. He can count on more of the same “alleged” dead & repeat voters in Laredo and Webb County, so he’ll have to get the San Antonio vote out. I, for won, pray that the Bexar Democratic Party gets it together to help him.
    Ayayay…

  2. Marie says:

    *for ONE! That’s what insomnia does to a late night blogger.

  3. Mathwiz says:

    I’ll certainly understand anyone who chooses to support Ciro Rodriguez instead, even if that reduces the chances of removing Cuellar. (emphasis added)

    Because we have runoffs here in Texas, there’s little chance of that happening. Whether or not Rodriguez and Raymond split the progressive vote, it won’t help Cuellar get the 50% needed to avoid the runoff.

    The “spoiler” effect only occurs in elections where someone can win with a mere plurality, like the general election. So if you’re in CD28, feel free to vote Rodriguez in the primary. You can always switch to Raymond if he doesn’t make it into the runoff.

  4. B. K. Oxley (binkley) says:

    I probably missed it in an earlier post of yours, but here is the link for the Texas League of Women Voters’ voters guide:

    http://www.lwvtexas.org/voting_info.shtml

    I also discovered that the national LWV and the Texas LWV run very different web sites. The Texas one is what I have always seen from the LWV: top quality voter information. The national one surprised me: bunches of issue advocacy and little information. Yuck.