Dude, I should be checking Ballot Access News more often. PDiddie sent several old-guard Harris County Greens a psst! by email this morning, linking to his new post concerning the progress of HB 2504 in the current 86th Texas Legislature (not the 92nd as I mistakenly wrote yesterday.)
The bill passed the House on a mostly party-line vote, 77-57, with five reps absent, and the Speaker not voting. Absent a major filibuster or a classic Dan Patrick Calendar Clusterfuck, this bill should sail through the Senate and get a signature from Governor Abbott.
In brief, HB 2504 allows candidates from convention parties (i.e., those that do not hold primary elections) to pay the same filing fees that candidates from primary parties do. In lieu of the fees, convention candidates may submit petition signatures, just as primary candidates currently may.
As if that weren't enough of a gift, another Republican's amendment to the bill, as passed by the House, reduces the criterion for retaining ballot access from 5% of the vote in a statewide race to 2%. Not in the next election, but in any of the previous five. Guess what? In 2014 and 2016, Green candidates crossed that 2% threshold in three four-way races. Since 2010, in races that the Democrats sat out, at least one Green has earned 5% or better, some scoring as high as 10%.
As Naomi Klein might say, This Changes Everything.
The 2020 General Election is less than 21 months away! The first primaries happen in less than a year! The first debates may happen in four months! And I still don't care!
The more the major network news vomitoria try to handicap the Democratic presidential reality show/beauty pageant—collecting polling numbers about undeclared and even speculative candidates, and completely omitting some who have declared—the more eagerly I want to push that shit away. MSNBC has given Tulsi Gabbard some air time, and that's probably for the last time.
The closest I get to caring about the 2020 mess concerns what strategies the Texas Greens or Movement for a People's Party might concoct toward a ballot access drive. In Texas, the collection of petition signatures begins the day after the state primary in March, with a statutory duration of 75 days. Crikey, if only the whole presidential campaign lasted a mere 75 days!
As Humanist Report sage Mike Figueredo admonishes us, be prepared in the coming months for a succession of disappointments from your progressive Democrat idols. In this video, I like the way he paints Barbara Lee as an "establishment progressive"—i.e., one who takes boldly leftish positions fairly consistently but still gravitates toward "viable" candidates like her fellow Californian Kamala Harris.
For amusement value, meanwhile, I recommend PDiddie's now-weekly takes on America's Next Top Democrat:
Harris County voters: If you feel an affinity for one of the two branches of the Corporate Party, and you feel compelled to vote in one of the primary elections, early voting starts tomorrow. If you don't feel that attachment, please consider the following alternatives:
Of all the blog posts and articles cited below, I most fervently recommend Brene Brown's. In addition, just to get a jump on this week, if you plan to vote in the Democratic Primary, here are some endorsements from
Nancy Pelosi energized Harris County Democrats and Mike Pence revved up Dallas Republicans at each party's respective fundraisers ahead of the GOTV effort for the primaries.
The San Antonio Current offers the city's voters their primary guide. And Grits for Breakfast is watching DA races in Bexar, Dallas, McLennan, and Smith counties.
The Lewisville Texan Journal covered the Democrats from Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville who met the voters and discussed the issues Saturday at the Barn in Highland Village’s Double Tree Ranch. The candidates discussed an array of topics, including gun control, the justice system, climate change, and funding.
Moderated by the party’s parliamentarian George Nassar, the event featured debates between 63rd state district candidates Richard Wolf and Laura Haines, 26th congressional district candidates Will Fisher and Linsey Fagan, county judge candidates Willie Hudspeth and Diana Leggett and county chair candidates Angie Cadena and Phyllis Wolper.
In the Texas Observer, Michael Barajas covered the social media storm of Texas public education supporters who "blew the whistle" on conservatives trying to engineer some Lone Star-styled voter suppression. The highly motivated bloc of Democratic voters (teachers and administrators) who've been on the front lines of the Lege's War on Education for the past several sessions made a mockery of the effort. #BlowingTheWhistle
Juanita Jean at the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon passes along a couple of primary recommendations.
DBC Green picked up on "Bob" O'Rourke's duplicity regarding his promise (videotaped and YouTubed) to debate his primary opponents. At post time, that doesn't appear to be on his schedule.
Texas Rural Voices conducted an interview with D LG hopeful Mike Collier when he visited Caldwell recently. The first of that four-parter focuses on education and property taxes.
Off the Kuff questions the assumption that Republicans have the advantage for November in Harris County. And as with so many other hopeful Democrats, Ted at jobsanger wants to believe that Texas might really be turning blue this year.
SocraticGadfly has some First Amendment and other questions about the Mueller indictments.
Neil at All People Have Value said school shootings are an intended result of America's gun culture rather than an aberration. And Brene Brown speaks truth to bullshit on gun reform.
Texas Leftist shares news about the brave students of Houston's Austin High School, who protested the ICE detention of an undocumented classmate just months shy of his graduation. Is it truly the priority of our federal law enforcement to persecute high school students who have done nothing wrong? #FreeDennis
Texas Vox celebrates the closing of three coal-fired electricity plants in the state.
Paul Battaglio, Doug Goodman, and Meghna Sabharwal at the Houston Chronicle voice concerns about how nonprofits are handling sexual harassment allegations.
Jason Pittman and Anita Ledbetter at the Rivard Report explain how Trump's tariffs on solar panels will affect Texans.
In lighter blogging fare...
Jim Schutze at the Dallas Observer considers AG Ken Paxton as nothing less than an agent of Satan, and considers him representative of the RPT at large.
The Lunch Tray highlights a class difference in how parents treat junk food for their kids.
Stace at Dos Centavos is still sad that RodeoHouston doesn't have any Tejano Music on GoTejano day. But San Antonio is having one awesome music fest in March with the Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair Weekend. Because without Tex-Mex culture, politics is pretty boring.
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub reposted Phillis Wheatley's inspiring poem about George Washington to note Presidents Day, and reminds you to fly your flag.
And Texas expat Elise Hu prepares for the Year of the Dog.
Profound and sincere apologies for anything that might even be perceived as passive-aggressive in a recent response to a Brains and Eggs entry. My comrade Perry Dorrell has posted two-thirds of a series he labels "the Revolution vs. the Resistance," and it's a fascinating read for Texas Progressives.
News flash: Sema = Revolution, and Beto = Mere Resistance.
Don't Just Say No
Naomi Klein's rushed-to-press book from last year is entitled No Is Not Enough. The title is a pretty solid slogan for Progressives in North America and elsewhere. The Pussy-Hat Resistance Movement is a Just Say No campaign.
It is not entirely true that the Resistance is focusing exclusively on halting the Drumpf/GOP agenda, without offering alternative policies. Generally, however, the main thrust of the Resistance consists of NO! and then figuring out what happens after Democrats recapture Congress, like the dog that finally catches the car.
The Revolution, on the other hand, is about proposing something different—not just different from what Republicans offer, but from what mainstream Democrats laughably call their "ideas." The Revolution may work within the Democratic Party as outsider candidates, in third parties, or independently; whichever, they bring truly progressive platforms that include single payer/Medicare for All and ending US foreign military adventures.
This afternoon I feel compelled to devote an entry to pimping this long-awaited piece from Perry "PDiddie" Dorrell at Brains and Eggs. PDiddie is not known for mincing words in print, but here I must applaud him for exercising a fair amount of restraint.
No, Diddie is not literally equating Mayor Sylvester Turner to Stepin Fetchit, any more than Ralph Nader was calling Barack Obama an Uncle Tom in an infamous 2008 interview with Shep Smith.
Diddie promised last week to post an entire piece on a piece of municipal legislation he found particularly loathsome. To his credit, he wanted to regain his composure and get his facts as straight as possible before posting. As Diddie himself has phrased it, he has recently been "blogging less and enjoying it more," so he doesn't generate bloggage as quickly as he had only a few months before.
Sigh. I would like to believe that the liberal majority on Houston's City Council (the ones PDiddie calls "Democrats") have the best interests of the people at heart and in mind when they craft ordinances like this. Even if they do, even if they aren't merely running interference for their cronies in the bidness community, I don't think subjecting people to fines and potentially jail time for pandhandling or pitching tents in underpasses is the right solution.
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.