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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Radnofsky condemns Klan rally in Amarillo

Barbara Radnofsky (photo)
Texas Senatorial Candidate

Statement of U.S. Senate Democratic Nominee Barbara Ann Radnofsky:

The Ku Klux Klan has announced its intention to rally on immigration issues on August 5 in Amarillo at City Hall. I condemn the Klan's message and history of hate and violence and terrorism.

I condemn the Klan's application of its hateful activities in the context of immigration reform and its planned rally in Amarillo, a fine city with concerns including water and drought, with inadequate federal relief due to wasteful government spending and misplaced priorities.

I call on my opponent to also denounce the Klan. I oppose the latest impossible immigration proposal by my opponent, the fourth in a series of expensive, unworkable proposals by our senior senator, who has voted against each of the Senate compromise immigration solutions.

The "self deportation" immigration plan proposed by my opponent this past week relies on major waste of our tax dollars and an impossibility of human nature: She hopes people will self deport, return for years of stay in their home country, subjected like cattle to tagging and waiting an eternity for the U.S. President to certify, after spending billions and billions of our tax dollars, that the U.S. borders are "secure" so the immigrants might then return.

The Hutchison plan, which has no chance of passage, also seeks to privatize our immigration and security in a vastly expensive and unworkable series of private centers built at U.S. government expense by private corporations in foreign lands. They will require massive U.S. funded security.

It's a hugely expensive process which will waste our taxpayer dollars even more than the waste we've seen to date, while creating ill will and easy targets in foreign lands.

The solution: economic improvement on both sides of the border and a comprehensive strategy encouraging fair trade, a workable registration system which includes an arduous path to citizenship, and integrated homeland security with U.S. personnel running our sea ports, strengthening post-graduate requirements at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to include port service obligations.

A video press release on this issue is now posted at

Meet Kathi Thomas-a woman of faith

Kathi Thomas (photo)

“Imagine A Better Texas”
Kathleen “Kathi” Thomas
Candidate for Texas Senate, SD 25

MEET A CANDIDATE who believes all families deserve legal protection.

Married, a mom, a small business owner, a former public school band director, and a woman of faith.

Kathi believes that we are all in this together and we need to start acting and governing with that in mind!

Friday, August 11, from 7-9 p.m.

Hosted by Roberto Flores and Dan Graney at their home, 16711 Springhill Drive, San Antonio, 78232. A Mexican-style buffet and wine, beer and sodas will be served.

Minimum donation of $20 requested.

Please make checks payable to “Kathi Thomas Campaign”.
RSVP by calling (210) 494-7442
or by e-mail at

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Democratic Reunion attracts activists

SDEC26 Committee Woman and host, Madeleine Dewar and Congressional District 21 Candidate John Courage. (photo)

The Northeast Democrats and the campaign for John Courage for Congressional District 21, sponsored the Democratic Reunion, hosted by Madeleine Dewar, to gear up for the November Election.

John Courage and State Rep. Distict 122 candidate Larry Stallings motivated the enthusiastic crowd at the Saturday, July 29th event, held at 8107 Broadway.

Surrounded by baloons, yard signs and bumper stickers for the taking, activists were served hot dogs, cold drinks, chips, cookies and lots of watermelon.

The local event was in conjunction with the national event sponsored simultaneously across the country exactly 100 days before the election. It was a national effort to movtivate the Democratic base and appeal to the undecided, cross-over vote as well as disenchanted Repubicans.

Stallings drew loud cheers from the crowd by pointing out his opponents horrible record on women's issues. A retired Marine, he addressed other issues to include school vouchers, veteran's issues and toll roads.

Courage also told the crowd he would chase his opponent all over the state if necessary, referencing the possibility that the congressional boundries may change before November.

Elected officials and candidates who attended included: Balcones Heights Councilman Steve Walker, Bexar County Democratic Deputy Chair, Pct. 1, Rick Puente, SDEC25 Committee Woman Zada True-Courage, SDEC26 Committee Woman Madeleine Dewar, judical candidate Milton Fagin, D.A. candidate Ed Bravenec and Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) Chair Connie De Luna.

Stonewall, Northwest, Bexar County Women, Northeast and Tejano Democrats were represented.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lt. Guv Dewhurst outed for pandering to Latinos

Political Cartoon of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

By R.G. Griffing
Publisher of the SA Lightning
Highly Conservative internet newsletter

"Changes Tune On Illegal Immigration"

Republican activist Joe Solis has been taking a lot of guff for his scathing report on Lt Governor David Dewhurst and pro-illegal immigration comments made to members of the SA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.

In his weekly newsletter, (South Texas Republican Newsletter) a feature also available in the Lightning, Solis questioned if Dewhurst was pandering to Hispanics and Latinos for their votes.

The Lite Guv at first refused to comment, then called the report 'balderdash." Now the Austin-American Statesman is confirming the Solis report.

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst huddled privately this month with folks connected to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He reportedly said: "I don't see why we don't give all 12 million (illegal) immigrants worker permits after they step forward. Of course, they have to get registered so we can know who they are."

A chamber leader, Ed Riojas, confirmed the wording, which became public in an e-mail blast this week from GOP activist Joe Solis. Riojas, a credit union executive, said Dewhurst stressed the need to identify immigrants so they can pay taxes. (excerpts for the Austin-American Statesman)

Meanwhile, Dewhurst is demanding Solis immediately print a "clarification." Solis says if he does decide to print the email from Dewhurst, he will do so in his regular newsletter published on Mondays.

Solis did provide the Lightning with that statement, and we present it here. Statement from Lt. Gov. Dewhurst:

Since 9-11, illegal immigration means an increased threat to homeland security and it involves a real cost to all Americans, and Texans, many who are having a hard time balancing their checkbooks the end of each month.

Today, there are competing proposals for dealing with illegal immigration. Some want amnesty and giving the 8-12 million illegals here in America an expedited road to citizenship.

I oppose this because it's not fair to the countless men and women from other countries who have and are properly standing in line for visas and residency permits, waiting months and in some cases years.

That's cutting in line, and I oppose it. To stop illegal immigration, the first thing we have to do is secure our borders, both north and south. And that means putting more law enforcement on the borders.

Second, we need to dry up demand. Overnight you dry up demand and illegal immigration if you significantly increase penalties on employers who hire illegals.

If we can send a man to the moon, we can create state driver's licenses or a new social security card, with tamper-proof biometrics on the back, with at least a digital photograph, fingerprints, date and place of birth, and citizenship status.

To insure the safety of all our citizens, all of us should apply for this new biometric driver’s license or social security card.

Some have recommended automatic guest worker permits for all 8-12 million illegal immigrants here in the U.S., but I think folks need to earn guest worker status, possibly having to return to their homes to apply or having a limit on how long they can stay.

It appears that even the local Republican Party doesn't believe its Republican leaders.

League of Women Voters to roast first ladies of SA

The League of Women Voters president, Ginny Stowitts Traina, cordially invites you to, "The Roasting of the First Ladies of San Antonio," Linda Hardberger & Tracy Wolff.

The event will be held Friday, September 8th at the Oak Hills Country Club, 5403 Fredericksburg Road.

The cost per person will be $50. Cocktails will be available from 6-7:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. A program will follow the dinner.

A silent auction will also be held. Music by A.M. Jazz Combo.

Margaret Mireles is the event coordinator. Contact Margaret at Mireles1@aol,com or call to RSVP at 735-6348.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

BBQ & Skeet Shoot at Carlton Spears fundraiser

Carlton Spears (photo)

By Carlton Spears
Judicial candidate

Just a quick reminder about the BBQ and Skeet Shoot at the San Antonio Gun Club this Friday. (July 28th) Gates open at Noon. Shooting starts around 3 p.m. BBQ is at 6 p.m..

You DON'T have to shoot to participate!!!

Just come out and enjoy a nice afternoon at the Club. Wear your shorts and leave the office early. Cold beverages afternoon. (You can't shoot if you have already started drinking.) I'll be there by Noon.

Shooters need to bring their gun, ear & eye protection, but no ammo. Ammo will be provided. If you want to shoot at a specific time, please call me or Becky at 366-3100.

From everything I've been told, this is a very winnable race, especially considering the poor ratings of my opponent in the Bar Polls. An abnormally high number of cases are reversed when appealed.

My opponent's biggest supporter is Dr. Leininger who gave her $5,000. Why is he involving himself in a judicial race?

I am really looking forward to seeing you on Friday. It'll be great fun.

Steering committee meeting draws good crowd

Glen Maxey, (photo) former State Rep.

The Bexar County Democratic Steering Committee met at Grady's Bar-B-Que on San Pedro, July 26th, to listen to former State Rep. Glen Maxey explain the new online phone banking procedures from the State Democratic Party.

As Maxey explained the usefulness and diversity of the program, numerous attendees asked questions and how to customize the program for their particular precincts.

Maxey pointed out that the technological age is here to stay, and "we might as well benefit from it to ensure our Democratic candidates are elected in November."

John McConnell, one of the attendees said, "Glen Maxey, gave a very interesting discussion on a developing website, which can provide just about any bit of information candidates, and county parties might find useful. According to Maxey, with this website and a phone you can do phone banking from anywhere on the planet. Too bad many more Democrats weren't there to take in his presentation."

The attendees included: Bexar County Party Chair, Carla Vela, Deputy Chairs; Rick Puente and Vincente Garcia from Pct. 1 & 4, respectively.

Others in the audience included: Party Secretary Jane Humble, Treasurer Fernando Conteras, SDEC25 member Zada Courage, SDEC26 member Madeleine Dewar, and Stonewall SDEC member Nancy Russell.

Chairs from the Northeast, (Ian Straus) Northwest, (Carrie Wilborn) Young Democrats, (Chris Garcia) Democratic Leadersip Council, (Connie De Luna) Bexar County Democratic Women (Ruth Stewart) and Texas DemVets (Larry Romo) were represented.

Congressional District 21 candidate John Courage and Balcones Heights Councilman Steve Walker also attended, along with John McConnell and Lucille Mitrane from the Fundraising Committee.

The Commuincations Committee was represented by Mimi Moffat, Mary Garcia and Steve Walker.

Others attending included: Margaret Cone, David Frank, Joyce Dorrycott, Jacob Middleton, Don Green and Cliff Walker.

Scharf-Zeldes holds press conference with the deaf

Barbie Scharf-Zeldes, campaign worker Priscilla, and Adam Zeldes (photo)

Barbie Scharf-Zeldes is doing something politicans have never done. She is reaching out to the hearing-impaired to ensure they have access to voting in Bexar County.

During a press conference in the medical center, 4242 Medical Drive, July 26th, she spoke to a hearing-impaired audience through an interpreter using sign language.

She began by thanking Deaf Link, an on-line internet access that assists the hearing impaired adapt to eveyday life.

Scharf-Zeldes speech

Thank you Deaf Link for what you do every day and for inspiring corporate, politcal and other leaders to open their eyes to the growing concerns of the deaf and hard of hearing. I thank all of the guests from the Deaf community who are here with us today."

Being here today represents a move that is long overdue. No longer will the deaf community not be heard. No longer will elected officials have the excuse that it isn't possible. NO longer will your concerns be put on the sidelines."

My task over the course of this campaign has been to engage everyone who will pay attention about why this election is so very important to generations of families and our neighborhoods.

My role is to give a fresh perspective to issues affecting everyday working men and working women, as well as the families of which they are a part.

My goal is to build coalitions across racial, religious and ethnic lines and gain a deeper understanding of what the country as a whole wants to see in Probate Court #2. Making my website deaf accessible is an example of my concern for the community.

People are hungry for elected officials that truly put the community's interests above their own and work for families-all families. Let's register to vote and make sure we show up to the polls early and in large numbers to make our communities better.

I am deeply honored to help give birth to a new movement that helps every American vote, and inspires confidence that the politcal system can work for everyone. Thank you.

The press conference attracted about 25 people, mostly hearing-impaired. A demonstation was presented on how the proposed voting system would be implemented for those hearing impaired.

KENS-5, Fox News and Telemundo covered the event. Tee-shirts, bumper stickers and signs were available. Tommy Calvert, Scharf-Zeldes, press coordinator also registered voters present.

Montemayor fundraiser draws bi-partisan crowd

District Clerk Margaret Montemayor and Carla Vela, Bexar County Democratic Party Chair (photo)

Nearly 150 excited supporters, voters, elected officials and candidates crammed into the swanky Giraud Club, located at 707 N. St. Mary's Street to support Margaret Montemayor in her re-election fundraiser for Bexar County Disrict Clerk.

The July 25th event attracted business people, long time supporters, and a bi-partisan crowd of prominent Republicans and Democrats to listen to Montemayor address an enthusiastic audience.

Former Bexar County Republican Party Chair Roy Barrera Jr., along with long time Republican Ernesto Ancira, and a score of other Republicans signed on to the steering committee to elect Montemayor.

Elected Officials and candidates from both sides of the aisle included: Republican Judge Joe Brown and judical candidate Marilyn Bernard.

Democratic judicial candidates: Ina Castillo, Barbie Scharf-Zeldes, Dan Pozza, Ray Olivarri, Larry Noll and Catherine Torres-Stahl attended. Congressional candidate John Courage was also in attendance.

Democratic Judges Monica Guerrero, David Rodriguez, Al Alonso, Johnny Gabriel, Karen Pozza and retired Judge Carol Haberman, along with County Commissioner's Tommy Adkisson and Chico Rodriguez, Tim Ybarra; County Clerk candidate, and Balcones Heights Council members Steve Walker and Suzanne De Leon also signed in.

Other dignitaries included: Attorney Frank Herrera, his son, Jorge, Mary Alice Cisneros and the chairmen of the steering committee: Jim Branton, Jack Paul Leon and Clem Lyons.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Dress for Success," draws Democratic crowd

Photos from left to right, top row: Judical candidates Barbie Scharf-Zeldes, Catherine Torres Stahl, and Carla Vela; Democratic Party Chair. 2nd row, left to right: Justice Alma Lopez, and judicial candidated Ina Castillo.

Nearly 100 supporters of the Dress for Success non-profit organization that promotes women from welfare to workfare turned out at the Red Oak Ballroom at the Norris Conference Center in Crossroads Mall, Tuesday, July 25th to support the worthy cause.

The Tuesday night mini-gala featured board trustee Alma Lopez, Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals who also served as honorary event chair person as featured speaker.

The first -time event featured food by Black Tie Catering, a silent auction, and Democratic elected officials and candidates.

Former Juvenile Judge Peter Sakai, who also serves on the the board of trustees addressed the crowd on the importance of supporting Dress for Success.

Elected officials and candidates who attended included: Judicial candidates Barbie Scharf-Zeldes, Ina Castillo, Catherine Torres Stahl and lone Republican candidate Genie Wright.

Judge Monica Guerrero, Balcones Heights Council members Steve Walker and Suzanne DeLeon, and Democratic Party Chair Carla Vela also attended.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Democratic Party seeks campaign manager

Rick Puente (photo)

By Rick Puente
Deputy Chair, Pct. 1

The Bexar County Democratic Party needs a campaign manager for the November election. The job description that’s been approved by the committee is listed below.

The BCDP Campaign Committee has had great progress. We are dedicated to electing all Democrats in Bexar County.

This campaign has the participation of the Northwest Democrats, Northeast Democrats, Southside Democrats, Tejano Democrats, San Antonio Young Democrats, Democratic Leadership Council, Bexar County Democratic Women, and Stonewall Democrats.

Our party is united and growing stronger every week. I’m excited at our progress and the participation of so many local Democrats eager to see our party succeed.

Job Description:

The Bexar County Democratic Party Campaign Committee is seeking candidates to fulfill this volunteer, non-paid position. This individual will be under the supervision of the Campaign Committee.

The Campaign Manager's responsibility is to implement the 2006 campaign plan which was approved by the County Executive Committee. This individual must have the ability to work well with others and a network of support volunteers would be helpful.

Some campaign history is desirable and experience in the local political arena is important. This campaign manager must be a decision maker, with no personal agenda, and be willing to assist all Democrats.

Organizational skills are key in coordinating a successful campaign. The Campaign Manager should be prepared to work 40-plus hour weeks for three months.

A small group of experienced advisors is also available. The Campaign Manager will meet most of the active Democrats in Bexar County.

Please submit resumes to co-chairs Ian Straus at or Rick Puente at .

Questions can be addressed to the same at 637-7063 and 386-4986.

An interview sub committee will screen candidates and finalist(s) will be interviewed by the full campaign committee.

Test to see if you are liberal, centrist, conservative

Le Lowry (photo)

By Le Lowry
Precinct Chair

This quiz is fun to take and is a simple barometer of where you stand on the issues. If you take it and it says you are a libertarian though, don't blame me.

The quiz was created by a libertarian organization. I did take the quiz and it predictably says I am a liberal and defines liberal as such; LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy.

They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Your basic Robert Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, or Le Lowry. So take the quiz and find out where you may stand on the issues.The website is

NE Democrats campaign headquarters is open

By Ian Straus

The North East Bexar County Democrats campaign office is not only leased, but fully functional. Four phone lines and a computer, and two candidates have moved in so far. That's 8107 Broadway, Suite 100.

We should all thank Sharon Shen, office manager and Connie De Luna NEBCD campaign committee chair; and others on the campaign committee for getting the office set up.

The campaign committee will shortly be calling NEBCD members for your participation in the election campaign.

The office will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

Office phone: 210-858-2990.

State Rep. Castro draws crowd at Woodlawn Lake

Joaquin Castro (photo)
State Rep. Dist. 125

Over one hundred and fifty supporters of State Rep. Joaquin Castro turned out at Woodlawn Lake, Saturday, July 22nd to hear the two-term legislator speak.

Introduced by Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, the crowd was a mix of District 125 voters, volunteers, elected officials and Democratic candidates who also support Castro.

Gonzalez said, "Joaquin is a good legislator who has heart for his constituents." Gonzalez touted the Castro family as one that served their community by standing up for those in need of good representation.

Joaquin's twin brother, Julian also spoke. Joaquin began by pointing out, "I am not Julian," to a crowd of laughter. He went on to say that, "Julian is one minute uglier than me."

Not to be outdone, Julian responsed that "Joaquin got his speaking ability from me."

The event offered tee-shirts, yard signs, plenty of food, drinks and sign in sheets for those who wished to volunteer to campaign for Castro.

Among the elected officials on hand, were: Judges Andy Mireles, David Rodriguez and Catherine Torres-Stahl. Other officials included: Balcones Heights Councilman Steve Walker, Le Lowry; elected representive for San Antonio's poor, and Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.

Judicial candidates included: Ina Castillo, Milton Fagin, Barbie Scharf-Zeldes, Ray Olivarri, Larry Noll, Laura Salinas and Peter Sakai. City Council candidates for District 8 & 4, respectively; Gloria Sanchez and Philip Cortez attended as well.

Le Lowry says go vote on Governor's poll

Le Lowry (photo)

By Le Lowry
precinct chair

A lot of local newspapers have informal polls on their websites on a variety of subjects, like "Who's your pick for Texas Governor?" The are purely subjective, not scientific and actually quite important in the political landscape.

The people at, that's the San Antonio Express-News and KENS 5, have their governor's poll out and guess who's in dead last? Chris Bell in single digits.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday, July 22, Chris Bell sits at 8.2%, Kinky Friedman is at 23.4%, Rick Perry is at 30% and Carole Keeton Strayhorn is at 38.4% with just over 2000 votes casts.

True, this poll is a beauty contest, it can be easily manipulated but it paints a picture of the type of support each candidate can get out. For all of those that support Chris Bell. . . go vote.

As for Chris Bell, he may be right on the ideas but he has a long way to go in reaching out to the voters.

Friday, July 21, 2006

NE Democrats sponsor Democratic Reunion

Madeleine Dewar (photo)

By Madeleine Dewar
SDEC 26 Committee Woman

NE Bexar County Democrats and Courage for Congress are pleased to bring you the Democratic Reunion.

Join Democrats all over the US who are celebrating together. It will be 100 days to Election Day in November & we will each pledge to contact 100 voters between now and Election Day.

Locally there will be games for young & old as well as hotdogs & watermelon. We are urging everyone to bring posters with positive messages about Democratic achievements and/or what good things will happen if Democrats are elected in November. Bring your own lawn chairs please.

Saturday, July 29th, 5 - 8 p.m., 8107 Broadway (Approximately 5 blocks inside Loop 410)

For more information contact me 210-602-4213 or email me at

Laredo Teachers endorse Radnofsky for Senator

Barbara Radnofsky (photo)
Texas Senatorial candidate

The Laredo TSTA/NEA announced its endorsement of Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barbara Ann Radnofsky this week.

Mario Zaragoza, legislative director for Laredo TSTA/NEA said, “Barbara Ann is our choice to be the next senator from Texas. She is standing up for our public schools, teachers, and children.

"We are honored that Barbara Ann promotes our educational goals. She will make the difference in providing a better education system.”

Radnofsky responded saying, “I am honored to have received the endorsement from the Laredo TSTA/NEA through Mario Zaragoza, an exemplary educator with experience in education policies. They know that I will fight for Texas public schools, teachers and children.”

Radnofsky supports the Social Security Fairness Act to protect teachers, funding for Upward Bound and Head Start to reduce the dropout rate, and peer mediation programs to reduce school violence.

Radnofsky has pledged to fight cuts in Pell grants and student loans, and to fight her opponent’s efforts to tax families’ and children’s use of the Internet.

Radnofsky views vouchers as a divisive mechanism, using our taxpayer funded dollars and giving up all accountability for how they are spent. Radnofsky continued, “I will work to provide the children of Texas with a first class education.”

In addition to receiving the endorsement of the Laredo TSTA/NEA, Radnofsky has been endorsed by the Texas Federation of Teachers/American Federation of Teachers.

Mother of three, wife, volunteer teacher, mediator, and practicing lawyer for 27 years, Radnofsky is a professional problem solver. She entered the University of Houston at age 16 on a National Merit 4-year academic scholarship and graduated magna cum laude.

She graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Message from the Party Chair, Carla Vela

Carla Vela (Photo)

By Carla Vela

This campaign season, it seems that the politics of getting things accomplished and of serving the people are getting lost in the shuffle. Public service should be about the people being served,­ not the servant. It should be about serving the constituents.

Where has that idea gone? Apparently it has been out-sourced to Austin. At an alarming rate, some Democratic candidates are paying consultants in Travis County to work their election campaigns.

Instead of hiring local agencies or consultants in their own communities, they are hiring consultants in other cities that have no interest in whether they win or lose.

Our local Democratic candidates should be supporting the local businesses that have contributed money, and effort (free, I might add), not only to their individual campaigns, but to their local Party as well.

Instead, this small group of candidates has chosen to support businesses and people to whom they must introduce themselves.This is happening on both sides of the fence.

The Republicans and Democrats are both guilty. Yet, many candidates seem to have forgotten the regrets of their predecessors for hiring consultants and agencies that don't know a thing about the people of Bexar County.

They don't live, work, or raise their families in our communities. They're out of town, and out of touch.This isn't about quality of work. We have award-winning consultants and agencies here in San Antonio.

We have political strategists, and media production, and king-makers, as well. We have the highest quality printers, mailing houses, poll- takers,and photographers, too.

This isn't about money. In fact, most consultants and agencies in Travis County are more expensive than what is offered here. But, some candidates love the good ole boy mentality, and buy into gimmicky sales tactics -especially in media advertising.

But, that's the way cookie-cutter ads are. Nothing creative or individualistic will distinguish the candidates as they ask for the vote in the ads. How, as a candidate, can you expect to stand out as a leader when you look so much like everyone else?

Its just another sign that even the most intelligent people sometimes have the least common sense.The thing is, our people know us better than someone from Austin.

We know the issues in Bexar County because we deal with them just as much as our friends and families. We know how the people think because we're among them, talking and listening to people at church, in the mall, in our neighborhoods, and our schools.

We're in touch. And we vote,too. I also wonder if these officials ever thought about the fact that Travis County vendors can't vote for them. Neither can the people within their sphere of influence ­ clients, employees, friends, or family.

There's an indisputable cache of votes totally discarded. Where, oh where, is the logic? So, here we are, watching our politicians scramble around fending for themselves. They wonder out loud why voter apathy is at an all time high.

They look at the chosen few officials who are endeared in the hearts of Bexar County and ask ­ why? What did they do? And while it must be said that Bexar County does have leaders who stand for something greater than mere politics, those leaders understand that we in Bexar County are the best means of connecting to the disconnected.

Statistics don't lie. Politics as usual is running out of votes. Have we forgotten that all politics are local? It's politics for politics sake. Election time brings out the worst.

A select group of our public officials have become co-conspirators, and have left us, their local, year-round supporters, uttering the same words used by Julius Caesar when his trusted friends stabbed him in the back, "Et tu Brute."

I once read on a poster, "Leaders are like eagles. They don't flock, you find them only one at a time." Every now and then ­ which would be just about now - that's what I see in Bexar County.

Toll Road Party-to endorse anti-toll road candidates

By Yvonne Phelps

The San Antonio Toll Party, which normally meets at 7 p.m. in the Reagan High School Library on the third Thursday of each month, met on Wednesday, July 19th. This keeps our opponents confused. About forty people attended, including Congressional Dist. 21 candidate John Courage.

Party leader Terri Hall announced that the San Antonio Toll Party
would be sending questionnaires to all candidates from both parties to get them to put their positions on toll roads in writing.

The San Antonio Toll Party will then endorse (probably in September) those anti-toll candidates, of either party, who are running against pro-toll candidates. This should be good news for Kathi Thomas and Larry Stallings, both who are opposed to toll roads.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to finding volunteers to attend the various TxDOT and MPO meetings over the next month, to hand out fliers at those meetings, to hand out fliers along Bandera Road, and to get people to go to the web site to sign the on-line petition.

Joaquin Castro's war chest bigger than opponent

Joaquin Castro with brother, Julian (photo)
Julian is on the left

Records show that State Rep. District 25, Joaquin Castro, is raising more campaign contributions that his opponent, Nelson Baldido. The two term state rep. has $28-thousand dollars on hand, vs. his opponent with only $2,100.

While Balido claims to be a serious contender, Castro points out that $15-thousand of his opponents contributions have come from one individual: Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, a major give to Republican candidates in Texas.

Castro says, "If the only thing he has to talk about is my fundraisiing, he obviously doesn't have much to say about the issues facing the district."

Castro is also hosting a re-election rally at Woodlawn Lake at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 22nd. All are invited to participate. Refreshments furnished.

Chris Bell visits the Alamo City

Chris Bell (photo)
candidate for Texas Governor

Democratic candidate for Texas Governor, Chris Bell, visited the Alamo City, Wednesday, July 19th. During his one-day visit, he touted a plan to curb air and water pollution in Texas.

He said, "Pollution is making us sick and it is costing Texas billions of dollars every year in health care costs, loss of productivity and lost jobs."

His other proposals include: require 10 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources such as wind farm by 2015, toughen enforcement of existing environmental regulations, push for a state constitutional amendment to protect hunting and fishing grounds, and end the fast tracking of permits for coal-fired power plants.

Bell also accused Governor Perry's administration of not doing enough to punish polluters. He added, "it is not enough that Perry has failed to recognize the scope of the crisis. It's that time after time, he goes out of his way to make the problem worse."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Editor requests candidates "mugshots" for articles

Steve Walker (photo)
By the Democrat
a.k.a. Steve Walker

The 2006 election is slowly creeping up on us and before you know it, it will be November and Election Day.

Those Bexar County Democratic candidates, to include those running for statewide office, who wish to be promoted on the BCDPNews, need to send us a jpeg photo of yourselves.

Many of you have responded. Many of you have not. It is your choice whether or not you wish to be included here on the BCDPNews.

As well as candidates needing a little promotion, we also accept commentaries on the pressing issues we confront, heading into the November election.

For those of you who have read our postings, you may have noticed there is a diversity of articles and commentaries to include the redistricting issue, debate challenges and a strong commentary from Northwest Democrat Vice Chair, Jacob Middleton, on his view on independent candidate for governor, Kinky Friedman.

We have featured David van Os, John Courage, Rick Bolanos, Carlton Spears, Larry Noll, Peter Sakai, Barbara Radnofsky, and Chris Bell, to name a few. We post as many photos as we can include to enhance the articles.

Everyone loves a good photo or two. Besides, you probably want to see who you may be voting for in the upcoming election.

We hope you enjoyed the photos of the new Bexar County Democratic Party Headquarters that will be opening sometime in August. The location is 3010 N. St. Marys.

We have also posted the photos of the four Deputy Chairs, along with Party Chair, Carla Vela. Speaking of our Party Chair, she may be calling you for your assistance in moving the Party to our new office.

We can always accomodate volunteers. Robert Castaneda will be feverishly working to update our web site so that it will be more pleasing to the eye and user friendly as time passes. Some changes have already occurred.

Michael Wright jump started us on the web and we thank him profusely for his effort. Michael is leaving us soon to pursue a Ph.D.

Our Communication Committee will continue to strive to keep you informed on all the good things that are happening in the Democratic Party.

That committee at present includes: Mary Garcia, Alice Guerra, Monica Lopez, Jane Humble, Larry Balser, Robert Castaneda, Mimi Moffat, Richard Barber and myself. Richard and I are co-chairs of the committee. Vincente Garcia is the Deputy Chair that oversees the committee.

Scroll down and read or re-read our numerous articles that highlight all facets of Democrats in Bexar County. We are as diverse as the articles that are posted. If you write an article, your by-line will be posted as well. We give credit where credit is due.

Hope you enjoy reading BCDPNews.

Van Os Texas whistle stop schedule

David Van Os (photo)
for Attorney General
Central and East Texas Whistlestop Tour July 25-29

Tuesday, July 25

9:00 a.m. Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos
10:45 a.m. Bastrop County Courthouse, Bastrop
12:45 p.m. Lee County Courthouse, Giddings
2:30 p.m. Milam County Courthouse, Cameron
4:00 p.m. Bell County Courthouse, Belton
6:00 p.m. Fundraising reception at the home of Chris and Dian Ruud, Temple

Wednesday, July 26

9:00 a.m. Falls County Courthouse, Marlin
10:30 a.m. Limestone County Courthouse, Groesbeck
12:15 p.m. Freestone County Courthouse, Fairfield
2:15 p.m. Navarro County Courthouse, Corsicana
4:00 p.m. Henderson County Courthouse, Navarro

Thursday, July 27

9:00 a.m. Cherokee County Courthouse, Rusk
10:45 a.m. Rusk County Courthouse, Henderson
1:30 p.m. Harrison County Courthouse, Marshall
2:30 p.m. Marion County Courthouse, Jefferson
4:00 p.m. Gregg County Courthouse, Longview
5:00 p.m. Potluck fundraising reception-Gregg County Dem. HQ

Friday, July 28

9:00 a.m. Panola County Courthouse, Carthage
10:30 a.m. Shelby County Courthouse, Center
12:00 p.m. Nacogdoches County Courthouse, Nacogdoches
3:15 p.m. Anderson County Courthouse, Palestine
Evening Dinner reception with Anderson County Democrats, candidates, elected officials, and supporters

Saturday July 29 ride on Texas State Railroad with Chris Bell

Message from David van Os

David van Os
candidate for Texas Attorney General (photo)

Dear Friend:

Senator Barbara Boxer is conducting a nationwide on-line poll to select a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate to receive Senator Boxer's endorsement, along with national attention and support through her PAC for A Change.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky of Texas is one of the contenders. Just like me, Barbara Ann is fighting a constant battle with defeatists and naysayers - the Beltway consultants and pundits who love to take money from Texas but do everything they can to discourage support for candidates in Texas.

Barbara Ann is tough and passionate, and she will fight for us in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Senator. Texans need her to replace the corporate robber barons' darling Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky stands with you and me in our fight to restore government to the people.Please visit Senator Boxer's PAC for A Change website now and vote for Barbara Ann Radnofsky.

Your vote for Barbara Ann to receive Senator Boxer's endorsement will be a vote that says, "Texas matters."

The website to enter and vote for Barbara Ann is Please do it now - the poll ends on July 21.Thank you for your support of my ally, Barbara Ann Radnofsky.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

September is designated Tejano Heritage month

September has been designated Tejano Heritage month by the State of Texas, Bexar County and the City of San Antonio, says Rudi Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, founder of Texas has been producing, publishing, promoting, and marketing Tejano printed matter, electronic media, educational materials as well as creating a traveling exhibit that has been displayed at elementary, junior high and high schools, colleges and universities, and historical societies, museums and libraries across the state.

“The last two years have proven that what we are creating with Tejano Heritage Month is something that the public wants,” Rodriguez says.

“We are at a time in history where everyone, especially in the Hispanic population, wants to know what their heritage is and where their roots originate. Tejano heritage is something that has long been ignored and we have felt that it is something that needs to be recognized, appreciated and embraced."

Rodriguez also points out that, "That is the purpose of Tejano Heritage Month; it is a chance to celebrate what our Tejano forefathers accomplished at the dawn of our great state and what we, as present-day Tejanos, continue to accomplish.”

This year’s Tejano Heritage Month festivities include the 3rd Annual Texas Tejano Breakfast to be held on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin. In San Antonio, the Breakfast will once again be held on the grounds of Palo Alto College.

The 2nd Annual Tejano Vigil will again be held inside the Alamo. A brand new, epic Tejano history exhibit will be displayed on the campus of UTSA and a Tejano Symposium will again be held at Alamo Hall.

The premiere of a series of Tejano portraits commissioned by Texas will hang inside the Alamo Shrine. The debut of the Senior Oral History Project will take place at the main branch of the San Antonio Public Library.

There will also be an exciting and educational program of awards for elementary, middle and high school students, says Rodriguez.

Rodriguez notes that "Texas and ALMA are also proud to have partnered this year with Wells Fargo Bank, H-E-B Groceries, Inc., the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Capitol Visitors Center and the San Antonio Express-News."

He added, "NEWS 4 WOAI-TV, Texas Public Radio, the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs and Office of Community Initiatives, the Witte Museum, the Alamo and San Antonio Public Library will also partner with Texas"

More information about Texas can be found at

Monday, July 17, 2006

Chris Bell's "Think Big" ads to air across the state

Chris Bell, Democratic nominee for Governor (photo)

AUSTIN--Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell today unveiled a statewide television advertising campaign with “Think Big,” an ad that features Bell’s call for a “moon shot” for public education to build the best public school system in the country within 10 years.

Media consultant Neil Kammerman of The Fenn Communications Group in Washington, DC directed “Think Big,” which begins airing across Texas on Tuesday.

“In Texas, we think big. But we need to dream bigger, with a New Texas Revolution for our schools,” said Bell in “Think Big.”

“Preparing our kids for college should be more important than teaching them to take standardized tests.

“I’m calling for a ‘moon shot’ to make our public schools the best in the nation over the next 10 years. And with Texas leading the way, businesses will move here and hire our children. And that means our kids will have a future that’s as big as Texas.”

Bell also announced the results of a successful fundraising period. Over the first half of the year, the Bell campaign has raised $1,632,717.96, including $1,312,467.89 in the recently completed reporting period.

This brings Bell’s fundraising since the beginning of 2005 to $2,143,293.29. The campaign ended the reporting period with $654,501.62 on hand.

“We’ve really turned the corner on fundraising, said Bell. “As the Democratic nominee with the full support of the Texas AFL-CIO and the Texas Democratic Party, I have a statewide infrastructure that independent candidates couldn’t match with $50 million.

"I don’t need to raise as much as Rick Perry. I just need to raise enough to get my message out, and going up on statewide television shows that we’re doing that.”

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bexar County Democratic Chair & Deputy Chairs

From L: to R: Top row; Party Chair Carla Vela and Deputy Chair Pct. 1 Rick Puente. Row 2: Deputy Chairs 3 & 2, respectively; Diana Stallings & Jose Garcia. Bottom row: Deputy Chair Pct. 4, Vincent Garcia.

Republican newsletter editor attacks his own Party

The following are excerpts from Express-News staff reporter Greg Jefferson’s article in the Metro Section of Sunday, July 16th, entitled “Republican ruffles political feathers of his own party with newsletter.”

The headline read like a jab from a Democrat out for a laugh. “Congressman Henry Bonilla RETIREMENT Party! You’re invited.”

It came in an email newsletter last week. But many of its readers-San Antonio area Republicans-weren’t likely to appreciate the joke, and a Democrat didn’t write it.

The writer was Joe Solis, a 37-year-old conservative activist who has become one of the party’s loudest gadflies. He is ahead of a largely member-less organization called the South Texas Republicans, but his megaphone is its weekly newsletter.

Bonilla, R-San Antonio has been a favorite barb of Solis……and last year Solis criticized US Sen. John Cornyn for not putting enough appearances in the region.

Some of his commentaries-and Solis himself-draw strong reactions in local GOP circles. Solis’ broadsides have angered many Republicans. Some simply disagree while others contend he’s breaking Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment-thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.

“This feeling that one can’t be critical is nonsense,” he said. “What is a true conservative to do? Sit down and act like a potted plant?”

Some of his columns wind up on the conservative SA Lightning Web Site and they occasionally pique the interest of talk show hosts, landing guest spots for Solis.

Gabe Quintanilla, a former chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party said he has come to admire Solis' skills at getting his message out. “He has the potential to be the Democrats worst nightmare.”

Quintanilla said “He’s able to get his message out to a fairly wide audience…He is somebody they need to watch.”

Editor's note: The South Texas Republican Newsletter is emailed every Monday morning. An estimated 8-thousand local Democrats receive a copy of it, forwarded by fellow Democrats. Activist Democrat Madeleine Dewar's recent scathing condemnation of Republicans was suprisingly published in the newsletter.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Larry Noll-candidate for District Judge of the 408th

Lary Noll, his mother; Mona, and two brothers; Bob & Rick. (Photo)

From Larry Noll's website

Larry has a history of participation in the community – professionally and civically. In addition to receiving personal gratification from serving in state, city and neighborhood leadership positions, Larry has been recognized by numerous organizations for his contributions.

During his tenure with his former firm, the Pro Bono Law Project recognized Bird & Noll as the Small Firm of the Year.

Hall of Fame Recognitions:

St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame (1991), the Holy Cross High School Hall of Fame (1999) and more recently, the Archdiocese of San Antonio Catholic Schools Hall of Fame (2004).

These recognitions underscore not only Larry’s community involvement but also his dedication and commitment to education. His most recent honor, the 2004 Catholic Schools Hall of Fame Award, was presented to him by Dale R. Hoyt, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. "This recognition is just one way we can express our sincere gratitude for your generous contributions," said Hoyt.

Community Leadership:

Leadership San Antonio (1985)
Director, St. Mary's University Alumni Association (1978-1979)
Vice-President, St. Mary's University Alumni Association (1979-1981)
President-elect, St. Mary's University Alumni (1981-1982)
President, St. Mary's University Alumni Association (1982-1983)
Vice-President, St. Mary's University Athletic Association (1977-1984)
President, St. Mary's Athletic Association (1987-1989)
President, Holy Cross Center (a non-profit organization) (1984 to 1992)
President, Holy Cross Community Services of Texas (1992-2000)
Vice-President, Board of Trustees, Holy Cross High School (1984-1987)
President, Board of Trustees, Holy Cross High School (1988-1992)
Board of Directors, American Cancer Society (1983-1985)
Board of Directors, Catholic Cable TV of San Antonio (1983-1984)
Board of Directors, San Antonio Library Foundation (1984-1985)


Distinguished Alumnus, St. Mary's University (2000)
Holy Cross High School Hall of Fame (1999)
St. Mary's University Athletic Hall of Fame (1991)
West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Doctoral Achievement Award (2004)
Texas Monthly "Super Lawyer" in Family Law (2004)
Current Magazine "Outstanding Lawyer" in Real Estate. (2005)

Friday, July 14, 2006

New proposals for re-districting 23rd & others

Reprinted from the Texas Insider

WASHINGTON — The first proposals to redraw Texas' congressional map and fix Latino voting rights violations would create up to seven Latino-majority districts in the state — but leave Travis County split between three members of Congress.

The two maps are being proposed by the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, and are the first of several proposals expected to be submitted to the Texas Legislative Council by Friday.

The new maps come in response to a Supreme Court ruling in June that found the state's 2003-Republican drawn congressional map had led to voting rights violations in the 23rd congressional district in southwest Texas.

The biggest differences between LULAC's two maps, Plan "A" and Plan "B," are: Plan "A" fuses Laredo back together as part of Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar's 28rd district (which currently runs from San Antonio to the border), and has Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla's 23rd district shifted north to pull voters from South San Antonio.

Plan "B" fuses Laredo back together as part of Bonilla's district, and has Cuellar's 28rd district shifted north to include more of Bexar County.

The two congressmen currently split Laredo; that would change under either proposal. In Plan A, the member's homes would remain in separate districts in November (Bonilla lives in San Antonio and Cuellar in Laredo). In Plan B, it is likely Cuellar would challenge Bonilla for the Laredo territory.

In both proposals, a handful of other districts are only slightly affected. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, would see his 25th district tweaked, and similar small changes would be made to the 20th and 21st districts, currently represented by Democrat Rep. Charles Gonzalez and Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, respectively.

Doggett's curent district winds from Austin to Mexico. It includes about one-third of Travis County. The rest of the county is represented by Smith and Republican Michael McCaul.

"We did everything we could to try and maintain the 25th District with 54-to-55 percent Hispanic registered voters," said Rolando Rios, general counsel for LULAC.

Keeping Doggett's 25th district intact, and making changes to the disputed 23rd district would give Texas seven districts that in which minority voters are in the majority, Rios said.

In its ruling in June, the Supreme Court found that Texas effectively had five "reasonably compact" Latino-minority districts, not counting Doggett's winding 25th district, which they expected the would be altered: "There is no reason to believe that District 25 will remain in its current form once District 23 is brought into compliance."

Furthermore, the court found that based on Texas' large Latino population, the five "reasonably compact" districts were "two districts shy of proportional representation."

But the justices were vague on whether they required redrawing the 25th, as they found no voting rights violations there. Deciding exactly what's required will be left to the three-judge panel that will examine all the proposed fixes Aug. 3.
But Rios said LULAC considers the 25th to be majority-minority already, so "in reality, if you fix the 23rd, you've actually got seven," Rios said.

Rios said both LULAC and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), another party in the Texas redistricting lawsuit, are pushing for a seven-district Latino-minority map. LULAC's map is being supported by the NAACP, Rios said.

"In 2010 we're going to be redistricting again," Rios said. "If in this process, we start with seven Latino districts, then we start with a base of seven. And once we have that base we can't go below that base."

MALDEF has also turned in its map proposals, but details were not immediately available. Attorney Nina Perales, who successfully argued MALDEF's redistricting case before the Supreme Court in March, was on Capitol Hill Thursday in last-minute meetings with members and to testify Thursday afternoon before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Sen. John Cornyn, on voting rights act legislation in light of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Perales said MALDEF is concerned that Laredo be reunited.
LULAC's map is only the first of a string of map proposals expected by Friday. In the two weeks since the Supreme Court's ruling, Texas Democrats have scrambled to come up with their proposed fixes to the map, as have Texas Republicans, who are working through the state Attorney General's office to create their proposals.

Each office would only say this week it was working with the other Texas members to come up with a solution that protects all Texans' voting rights.
A three-judge district court panel will hear arguments for each of the proposed solutions Aug. 3 in Austin.

Bolanos speaks about his opponent Henry Bonilla

Rick Bolanos (photo)

By Rick Bolanos
candidate for the 23rd Congressional District

Fellow Texans,Henry Bonilla has two million dollars and is raising more in his re-election campaign war chest. It should come as no surprise that Henry has built this war chest with the same money from donors who are creating a crisis in America.

Make no mistake that in America we are in a “Crisis of Corruption.” It is a crisis that pervades our legislative process at it’s very underlying essence and makes those words “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” empty and meaningless.

The huge donations from Tom Delay to Henry Bonilla are well documented. Mr. Bonilla used both his campaign war chest money and his Political Action Committee to come to the aid of his mentor and benefactor Tom Delay.

What is the ultimate reprehensible moral travesty is that even after his major benefactor was indicted, Henry Bonilla voted to keep his benefactor and sponsor, Tom Delay, as his leader of the Republican Party.

Furthermore, it should come as no surprise that Henry Bonilla voted with Tom Delay 97% of the time. It should not surprise you that the most sinister purveyor of greed and political corruption in America, Jack Abramoff, is also a major benefactor and contributor to Mr. Bonilla’s War Chest.

His has given thousands of dollars to the Henry Bonilla campaign war chest so that Mr. Bonilla can buy his way to re-election.

Could it be because Henry Bonilla, like Duke Cunningham, are members of the “Defense Appropriations Committee” and the un-indicted co-conspirators are “Defense Contractors.” I certainly hope that is not the case.

Why does a congressman want two million dollars in his war chest? Could it be that money buys elections? We want an election that does not permit the pandering, corrupt lobbyists to walk into the halls of our House of Representatives to spawn and germinate the corruption that now threatens to bring down a nation that has for years fought to be a nation of truth, of compassion, of freedom and of democracy.

Radnofsky speech on Voting Rights-July 11th

Barbara Radnofsky & Stewart (Photo)

By Barbara Radnofsky
candidate for Texas Senator

On March 4, 1865, with victory close at hand, Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address. In the audience, and captured in a photograph standing behind him to his upper left, was John Wilkes Booth, who cut Lincoln down in assassination not long thereafter.

Lincoln's speech was remarkable for its modesty, courage, hope, and respect.
Here's what the great Commander in Chief said of the imminent war victory that would save the Union: “With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.”

Our country had learned to expect such great statements, rather than empty boasts of “mission accomplished.”

No one now disputes Lincoln's greatness in leading the country in extraordinary times and in healing America with a great effort. The second inaugural is considered one of America's greatest works.

But America’s greatest letter was written in April 1963 by an imprisoned preacher who is forever remembered for his service, sacrifice, and efforts. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was begun on the margins of a newspaper supplied by jail trustees.

The Rev. Martin Luther King responded to a letter from eight white Alabama clergymen calling on King to end his policy of non-violent resistance. They didn’t like him coming to Birmingham.

King explained: “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

He was assassinated in 1968, but he lived to see the passage of landmark legislation during the administration of, and a legacy of, President Lyndon B. Johnson, a piece of legislation now threatened by our Congress.

The Voting Rights Act was passed one hundred years after Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

The evidence collected by independent scholars is clear: while vote discrimination against minorities has decreased since 1965 thanks to the Voting Rights Act, up-to-date evidence shows that discrimination clearly continues in the Twenty-first Century. Moreover, vote discrimination of many kinds occurs at a disproportionately high level in the sixteen states covered entirely or partially by Section 5 of that historic law.

If we lose Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which puts the burden on our Department of Justice to prevent vote discrimination, the only solution under the Voting Right Act will be individual lawsuits, which cost thousands of dollars and often slog their way through the courts for years.

Let’s allow the Department of Justice to do its job for the common good of American democracy, and let us call on Congress to renew the Voting Rights Act, and particularly Section 5.

This country aches for leaders with courage. Why doesn’t Congress step forward? Why won’t my opponent step forward? Why won’t they protect our rights?
Reverend King taught us that “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Challenge and controversy confront us. We seek leaders, we ache for leaders, we will find leaders among us, who will serve us as did President Lincoln and modern heroes like Reverend King and President Johnson, heroes whose legacies live on in the Voting Rights Act.

The leaders this country needs will live up to the promise of Lincoln’s second inaugural: “With malice toward none, with charity toward all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see that right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

This why Texans will elect Democrats in November 2006.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

House approves extending Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act, by a vote of 390-33.

By a vote of 288-134 the House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have shortened the renewal from 25 years to a decade.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., displayed photos of civil rights activists, including himself, who were beaten by Alabama state troopers in 1965 as they marched from Selma to Montgomery in support of voting rights.

"I have a concussion. I almost died. I gave blood; some of my colleagues gave their very lives," Lewis shouted from the House floor, while the Rev. Jesse Jackson, another veteran of the civil rights movement, looked on from the gallery.

"Yes, we've made some progress; we have come a distance," Lewis added. "The sad truth is, discrimination still exists. That's why we still need the Voting Rights Act and we must not go back to the dark past."

Rick Bolanos requests Congressional Ethics Committee to investigate Henry Bonilla

Congressional candidate Rick Bolanos (photo)

By Diana Valdez

Rick Bolaños, El Paso Democratic contender for U.S. Congressional District 23, is asking the Congressional Ethics Committee to investigate the activities of U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla's political action committee, known as the American Dream PAC.

In the complaint, Bolaños alleges that Bonilla, who is running for re-election in November, "helped finance the redistricting efforts through his (American Dream) PAC that contributed more than $100,000 that was routed to the Republican Party, including a GOP redistricting effort in Texas."

The complaint also alleges Bonilla "was instrumental in drawing the district lines so that he could choose who voted for him and 'ensure Republicans could win' instead of permitting the constituents of the 23rd Congressional District to vote for the candidate of their choice ... a clear violation of the rules of ethical comportment by an incumbent."

Bolaños said he also is seeking a moratorium on further fund-raising by the PAC, "because it is being used to benefit an unconstitutionally delineated district."

He also alleged that the PAC violated Federal Election Committee rules by not registering as a PAC that aimed to raise money for redistricting.

The Washington Post published a story in 2004 about the American Dream PAC that said only 8.9 percent of the $547,000 that Bonilla raised for the PAC went to minority candidates, which was the PAC's original goal.

The story also said more than $100,000 was routed "to Republican Party organizations or causes, including a GOP redistricting effort in Texas, a legal defense fund for (former) House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas) and Bonilla's reelection campaign."

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the district Bonilla represents violates the Voting Rights Act because it disenfranchised 100,000 Hispanic voters in Webb County. The district boundaries stretch from Laredo and San Antonio to far east El Paso County.