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Can we get a candidate over here, please?

As of today, there are no Democratic candidates on the ballot for any statewide office in 2004. Well, there’s one, anyway.

AUSTIN — No Democratic candidate has yet filed to run for statewide office in Texas in 2004, but party officials say they expect a couple of hopefuls to emerge before Friday’s filing deadline.

San Antonio lawyer David Van Os said Tuesday he’ll be one of them, as a candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.

“I am going to file. That’s definite,” Van Os said.

The only statewide offices on the ballot in the 2004 presidential election year are a Railroad Commission seat and three seats apiece on the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Like every other statewide office, each has a Republican incumbent, some of whom already have drawn Republican opponents.

Van Os plans to run for the seat held by Scott Brister, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in November to replace Craig Enoch, who resigned.

That’s not stopping the state party from sounding optimistic.

State Democratic Chairman Charles Soechting said the party is concentrating its efforts on fielding candidates for the Texas House, saying voters are primed to punish Republican lawmakers for issues such as congressional redistricting and deep cuts in social service spending.

“The backlash has begun,” Soechting said in a news release. “A full year of the over-the-top Republican partisanship has sparked a movement to restore common sense and mainstream values to the Texas Legislature.”

Soechting did not give the names of the Democratic candidates he said would file in the House races or which Republicans would be targeted.

Ted Royer, a spokesman for the Texas Republican Party, which has not lost a statewide race since 1994, said he was unimpressed with Soechting’s plans or his analysis of the voters’ mood.

“I haven’t seen their news release,” Royer said. “We’re very confident heading into next year’s elections.”

Redistricting has certainly been a rallying point for Democrats here, and I certainly hope that will help to turn out the base in November, but let’s face it: Their base is bigger than ours right now. I’m not convinced that independents looked at the whole saga with anything more than a “pox on both their houses” mentality. I don’t see redistricting as the best way to bring more people into the Democratic fold.

Democratic Party spokesman Sean Michael Byrne and strategist Kelly Fero, who advises Soechting, said they are not aware of any candidates who planned to step forward in the statewide races.

For years, the party made a conscious effort to bypass statewide races, saying it was regrouping for a strong comeback in 2002. But that plan backfired when Republicans again swept all statewide offices while strengthening their majority in the state Senate and winning control of the Texas House for the first time since the Reconstruction.

Fero echoed Soechting’s prediction that a slate of formidable Democrats would emerge for the legislative races.

“You’ll have to wait until 5 o’clock Friday when filing ends, but I think you’ll see about two dozen strong candidates step up,” Fero said.

I hope you’re right, but I’ll be holding off on the champagne until then. Bill Howell fears a repeat of the disastrous strategy from 2000. I’m not as downbeat as he is, but I see where he’s coming from.

I’ll say this: It’d be nice if whoever the eventual Democratic Presidential nominee is spends a little time here campaigning. Not because he thinks Texas is winnable, but because it would help turnout for all of the downballot races. Al Gore got about as many votes in 2000 as Bill Clinton did in 1996, while George Bush got one million more than Bob Dole did. I don’t know about you, but I think that has an effect on other races. Anything to minimize that effect would be good.

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6 Comments

  1. charles soechting says:

    I enjoy reading the comments. Since I am the chairman, just a few words. First, I get a kick out of reading the R’s response…”we’re confident heading into the….” All that means is that we are going to work harder than ever. We have fielded three statewide candidates no matter what might have been reported. There were seven possible races and three candidaates stepped forward. Second, AND PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANT in local areas is the fact that we are CHALLENGIN INCUMBENT REPUBLICANS in at least 36 state rep races..When does anyone remember that happening? We are a force to be reckoned with and I intend to lead that charge. Let’s stop worrying about the past and chargeinto November. I challenge everyone reading this message to call me at party hq and get involved 512-478-9800. I would like to challenge Tom Craddick and Rick to the following, during the upcoming special session have the house members be presented with an option to vote secretly for the next speaker and Tom, let that vote be a secret vote. As sick of Rick as Texans are it’s a sure bet that Tom cannot win a secret vote to keep his job. Have a great day and sorry for any misspellings but I am on my way to a Willie Nelson concert for Kucinich. Charles Soechting, Chairman Texas Democratic Party

  2. abelard says:

    Boy, i can’t tell whether this is a hoax, or it really was Soechting. Is Kucinich really Soechting’s candidate of choice for the dem nom, or is Soechting such a Willie Nelson fan that he faces the inevitable ridicule resultant from even the appearance of supporting Kucinich with insouciance? And can the Texas Democrat party not afford dictionaries?

    Hey, Soechting, if that was really you, if I get Peter Gabriel to appear at a benefit for Al Sharpton, will you go to that, too? How about if i get Bono to do a benefit for Lyndon LaRouche?

  3. charles soechting says:

    First, in regard to the previous posting of Abelrad or whatever their name was, yes I have and can afford a dictionary. You see, sometimes I get real busy on lots of different postings and I do not bother to spell check. As the chairman I actually meet the candidates, not all, but many of them. Would you like to know the names of other Democrats that were at the Willie/Dennis event that night. Call the office 512-478-9800, ask for me, and I will give you a run down. As for LaRouche—no attendance on my part. When you are ready to be involved and stop griping about really insignificant stuff, call us. We can always use a good volunteer. charles—the Chairman

  4. Jane Smith says:

    Dear Charles and associates, I’m wondering why no one in the Bastrop County. Democratic “machine” has called me. Sone hoe used to call me to give me opportunities to volunteer. I can’t even find an HQ for Bastrop County. Why does the state party never call me for any other reason than to ask for funds? Can I get on an e-mail list for Deomcratic Party issues, candidate profiles, and issue related material? I’m an Indian not a chief but will help if asked.

  5. tim says:

    see website outlinng eggregisous behovairo of chas soechting dtexs dem party chair

    http://www.soechting.com

  6. RONALD L. WALDRON says:

    IMPEACH:

    Once again President Bush has deceived the American people to open the way for a war of aggression, this time against Lebanon. Had it been successful, regime change in Syria and Iran were next on his agenda. It is now clear that the assault on Lebanon was agreed on and planned by the U.S. and Israel long before Hezbollah, reacting to Israel’s brutal assault against Palestine, captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12 of this year which was claimed to justify bombing all of Lebanon. After his tragically criminal war in Iraq and the emerging failure of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, President Bush apparently believes he can fool most of the people all of the time.

    How long can the American people accept a President who places himself above the law, who repeatedly wages wars of aggression, authorizes excessive force, the targeting of civilians, indiscriminate destruction, collective punishment, torture, disappearance, unlimited, illegal detention and dismisses them all with lies? How long will our nation endure this war by and against terrorism that he is creating?

    For months now, the White House has stonewalled congressional attempts to investigate the administration’s eavesdropping without warrants. Now more than ever, Congress should be demanding to know why the president broke the law. But instead, leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee are advancing radical legislation that would simply sanction the president’s illegal activity and hand him even more unnecessary power.

    Our task this summer is to make it clear that people who are trying to defend the president’s indefensible behavior are defying the Constitution and selling out our civil liberties.

    Every belligerent utterance of George W. Bush, our “War President,” and his war seeking assistants, referenced Hezbollah, Syria and Iran in the same breath. All received their special insults, as did the Muslim world, called “Islamic Fascists” by the President of the United States.

    President Bush and his administration declared Israel “has the right to defend itself,” supported the invasion and rejected a cease fire. The world watched in anguish as Israeli aircraft destroyed villages, towns and civilian facilities .

    Can we doubt that President Bush will attack yet another country, if We, the People, fail to do our duty? Can he learn that you make more friends by helping feed children than by killing them?

    We must act to Impeach George W. Bush and his criminal cohorts now.

    REPUBLICAN CHURCH:

    SEVERAL DEMOCRATS HAVE QUIT THE CHURCH,
    BECAUSE OF THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNING IN
    THE CHURCH, AND THE MESSAGE FROM THE
    PULPIT IS CHRISTIANS ARE REPUBLICAN.

    SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE. IT IS TIME TO
    TAX THE TAX FREE. THEY DEFRAUD THE CONGREGATION, INVEST LARGE AMOUNTS IN
    WALL STREET, INTO CORPORATIONS INCURAGING
    WAR, SIMPLY FOR PROFIT.
    NO HUMANITARIAN SITUATION WILL CREATE A NEED
    FOR THE CHURCH TO SPEND ANY OF ITS MONEY.
    THEY SOLICIT MORE MONEY FROM THE CONGREGATION.

    DOES THE RED CROSS INVEST ON WALL STREET?
    UNITED FUND, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY ? WHY
    SHOULD THE CHURCH DECEIVE THEIR MASSES.
    IT AMOUNTS TO MONEY CHANGERS IN THE CHURCH,
    THAT WERE RUN OUT OF THE CHURCH AT ONE TIME.

    NOT ONLY IS THAT THE MESSAGE FROM THE PULPIT,
    AS DIRRECTED BY THE JERRY FALWELL’S AND PAT ROBERTSON’S. THEY NOW REGISTER VOTERS IN THE CHURCH BUILDINGS, SOLICIT PEOPLE TO REGISTER AND VOTE REPUBLICAN.
    NOW THEY ARE PUTTING ON A DRIVE TO REGISTER REPUBLICANS
    THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT HAS PUT OUR COUNTRY
    AT MORE RISK OF ATTACK BY TERRORIST.
    THE SUPPORT OF ISREAL, ” THE REAL TERRORIST
    OF THE MIDDLE EAST FOR 58 YEARS”, HAS GENERATED THE HATRED OF AMERICA IN THE FIRST PLACE.
    In the last few weeks, war, occupation, death and destruction have dangerously intensified in the Middle East. The U.S. government has encouraged Israel’s devastation of both Lebanon and Gaza. Three thousand civilians are dying by violence each month in Iraq. Almost a million Iraqis are living as refugees in neighboring countries. The mainstream press offers its unquestioning approval of U.S. and Israeli moves, while condemning – or ignoring – the widespread opposition of the Arab world.

    Although you are aware that there are many Jews who support the State of Israel, what you may not have heard about is that there is a silent majority of Jews opposed to Zionism who remain ignored by the media, and who remain steadfast in loyalty to the teachings of our rabbis that the ideology of Zionism is in utter opposition to Jewish religion.

    Ever since the destruction of the holy Temple in Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish People some two thousand years ago, They have been enjoined to be scrupulously loyal to the countries they reside in, and never seek to undertake to establish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land or anywhere throughout the world. One of the great biblical prophets, Jeremiah, in chapter 29 of his book proclaimed G-d’s message to all the exiled; verse seven reads, “Seek out the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray for it to the Almighty, for through its welfare will you have welfare.” This has been a cornerstone of Jewish morality throughout our history to this very day.

    The Zionist movement rejects all of the fundamental principles of our Torah and rabbis. Jews do not need a state of their own. The very establishment of a “Jewish” state is a grave violation of Jewish tradition and law.

    Therefore they don’t represent the Jewish people in any way whatsoever. They have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people. Therefore, their words, declarations and actions are not in any way representative of the Jewish people. We deplore acts and policies of violence carried out by those who – misusing the name of Israel – have substituted the ideal of nationalism for the teachings of the holy Torah .

    Therefore,it is of the utmost urgency that the State of Israel should not be referred as a Jewish State, but as the Zionist State. The foundation of its existence is not Judaism, but the Zionist ideology. We are extremely concerned that referring to it as a “Jewish” state endangers the welfare of Jews worldwide by linking Jews and Judaism to the terrible actions of the Zionist State. The Zionist state with its supporters worldwide seeks to take all measures possible, including provoking hatred of Jews through Israeli policies, in order to convince Jews to move from their native countries to the State of Israel!! Indeed, hatred of Jews is the very lifeblood and oxygen of the Zionist movement and their state, which are stand in total opposition to Judaism.

    We also feel great pain about the misplaced sympathy of Christian evangelicals for Zionism. If they knew the truth about Zionism they would not support the Zionist movement.
    The republican Party & zionist movement Church are deceiving your people on a grand scale, which adventually will be recognized , as for corporate profit only. Also please realize that the organization AIPAC is a zionist, foreign organization, that is not representative of the Jewish faith. It is a political lobby designed to control you and congress.

    They are successful due to the control of media . The reporting done .Also the scholars you all seek advice from.How could you let Mossad intelligence influence your decisions over your own country mens work is more inconceivable. (You let the chairs of your major universities to be taken over by AIPAC members)

    The US will leave it to Israel to decide not only the manner of killing of Arabs, but even to determine the number of Arabs that Israel wishes to kill.

    The US’s alliance with Israel, which receives full support from Congress, continues to undermine US standing in the world, isolates the secular democratic forces in the Middle East, and contributes forcefully to the allure of Islamic radicalism. Will this administration – or even a new Democratic regime in 2008 – understand the changes that are occurring in the Middle East through the current misbegotten policies? Are the birth pangs that Condoleezza detected really death rattles that the Bush administration should fear?

    BUSH ADMINISTRATION:

    MAY GOD STRIKE YOUR TONGUES, SO YOU NO LONGER CAN SPILL OUT SUCH BLASPHEMY, AS HAS BEEN FOR THE LAST SIX & ONE HALF YEARS.

    Those who speak blasphemy “shall surely be put to death”.

    PULL TROOPS FROM IRAQ AND PUT THEM ON OUR BORDERS
    While Congress is in recess, we will focus on the issues YOU want to see Congress address. This week’s proposal is from Laurel, MD who suggests we pull troops out of all foreign wars, such as Iraq and place them on the borders here to halt illegal immigration. Write Congress and Pres. Bush to tell them if you agree or not by selecting your view.
    – 74% Support – Bring Home The Troops to Guard Our Borders
    – 26% Oppose – Bring Home The Troops to Guard Our Borders
    WHO DOES THE GOVERNMENT WORK FOR, US CITIZENS, OR THE TAX FREE CHURCHES & CORPORATIONS, ALONG WITH AIPAC CONTROL.
    President Bush: Is he honest and competent?
    Yes 7 (11.11%)
    No 56 (88.89%)
    Don’t know 0 (0.00%)

    View other poll questions
    63 votes | 0 comments