Either nobody told me, or somebody did tell me and I forgot. We had a third out-of-town candidate drop in at the Loes' residence Saturday, Green Senatorial nominee Emily "Spicybrown" Sánchez. It was wonderful to see Emily, along with Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Kenneth Kendrick.
A physical therapist's assistant by day, slam poet by night, Emily opted to include her nom de slam "Spicybrown" in her ballot moniker. Texas allows the use of nicknames and even pseudonyms on the ballot, and thus Republican Sam Fayad now runs under the same Sam Texas. Back in December 2013, when I first heard about her intent, I wondered at first whether the nickname would turn out to be a liability. As it turns out, it has brought her all kinds of credibility with audiences in heavily Latino South Texas, not just among fans of competitive poetry or hearty mustard. Even with her limited campaigning, the phenomenon of Laredo has extended deeper into the Rio Grande Valley and up to Emily's current city of Del Rio (Val Verde County).
Other statewide candidates in attendance, but not on the bill to speak, were Deb Shafto (Comptroller of Public Accounts) and Jim Chisolm (Supreme Court, Place 8), both from Houston. None of the local folks were on the bill to speak: The 30-40 local voters who filled the Loes' living room have heard Deb and me speak plenty. I'd like to have heard Jim make a speech, but there's something I find very dignified about not actively campaigning for a judicial spot.
Hardy and Lee Loe made us all very comfortable as usual. Laura Palmer was a serenely welcoming mistress of ceremonies. I'm sorry to report that nobody, including professional videographer Laura, captured the proceedings on video, but Laura was busy with her other duties.
David Wager just called and reported that contributions to the three visiting candidates totaled just over $2,200. That will cover a couple of day-trips for each of them. Thank you, our generous Green and Progressive friends!
David Wager is the perennial Green Party of Texas and Harris County Green Party treasurer, except when he takes time off from his treasury duties to be co-chair or something similar. He is also a rock-solid. down-to-earth presence in the party and an excellent facilitator of the party's business, electoral and otherwise. He took me to lunch today at Katz's on Westheimer—and by "me" I mean "the person me," not "the candidate me."
Between and around bites, we talked about a whole range of topics, both political and personal. One topic that came up was Laredo. The two of us traveled to Laredo on a campaign visit in 2012, and the following year, GPTX had its annual meeting there (which sadly I missed). Travis County (Austin) and Dallas County have very little going on in the way of organized Greenery, but Webb County (Laredo) is abuzz with activity.
The hub of Webb County's Green goings-on is Dan Monahan, an attorney in Laredo, who helped get the party started in Webb a few years ago. He didn't run for office in 2012, and he's not running for anything this year. His gifts lie in organizing and convincing other people to run.
Our US Senate candidate, Emily Sánchez, lives in Del Rio now, but she lived in Laredo until just recently. Emily is scheduled to Skype into the Green Candidates' Forum Monday night.
Through his professional connections, Dan found Lakshmana "Vish" Viswanath, who is now running a strong campaign for Justice of the Peace in Webb's Precinct 4.
But the most amazing story of 2014 is Erika Martínez, Green candidate for Webb County Commissioner in Precinct 1. She has an excellent chance of winning that seat in November.
I can't find a website for Erika, but there is this article from the 21 August Laredo Morning Times, most of which is hiding behind the paywall. The seat she seeks was vacated earlier this year, when Commissioner Michael Montemayor pled guilty to bribery charges and resigned. Democratic nominee Frank Sciaraffa, a former County Commissioner, weathered an old-fashioned Democratic sex scandal last year, first denying allegations of sexual harassment, then copping to them. (Yes, there's a partial article on that in the Morning Times, too.)
There is no Republican in the race: We're talking about a very urban portion of the county, in a city and county that are about 95% Latino.
So all that information is about the disgraced and departed Democratic Precinct 1 Commissioner and the dodgy Democrat who is trying to take his place. What about Erika herself? I wish I could enlighten you. Those who have met her say she's an excellent person and candidate, a middle school teacher, a dynamic presence. I must refer you to her Facebook page (link above). No website, no Twitter. She's a teacher. She just got into this race a few months ago. She doesn't have time or money for such business.
I hope the Texas Greens will focus more on getting their message out, electronically and otherwise, to voters in 2016. Meanwhile, we'll have to be content with getting more votes per dollar spent than any other party in this state. Please tell any friends in Laredo that the Green Party offers an alternative to sordid business-as-usual.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.