27 June 2008

Convergence of Events Show Texas is "In Play"

Texas may not have arrived as a “swing” state, but, we’re in play and the pols are paying attention.

Consider the convergence of these factors.

Yesterday the 56-union, 10-million member AFL/CIO announced its endorsement of Obama. In the press release it was noted that it would gin up some 250,000 volunteers and $50-million dollars for the campaign. Jot that down, we’re coming back to it in a moment.

Also yesterday, it was announced that the Texas Lyceum poll puts democratic senatorial candidate, Rick Noriega, within two points of republican freshman incumbent, John Cornyn. More telling than that, 24 % of the electorate is undecided. In play, I reckon!

As these two releases made their way to me, I got a feverishly panting e-mail from a friend in Van Zandt County saying that Noriega had “won” a contest for funding from Barbara Boxer’s "Pac For A Change" with 30% of the vote. The contest was based on constituents from a number of nationwide races voting for their candidate to receive the pac’s donation. The closest to Noriega was Al Franken, with 24%.

“Well hell,” I say to my cat Tucker, “that means this ole boy is for sure real and the deal might just for sure go down.” So, I pick up the phone and call a friend in D.C., and begin my usual yammering about Texas being treated like a red-haired step-child and it being way past time for the AFL/CIO to put some of that $50-million into Texas now that we have a viable candidate. See, I said we’d get back around to that.

His response was, “...I do know the AFL-CIO is putting a full-time political staff into Texas now.”

What I'm saying here is that you don’t have to have a big old ivy-league degree and swank Austin office with a coffee bar to figure it out. Texas is in play, and at the very least, we’ll have turned Red Texas just a tad purple come November.

Now, put down that can of beer, get up off the couch, slip something on over your underwear, and get out here with the rest of us and be a part of it. It is going to take some honest to goodness, old-time, block-walking, door-knocking, envelope stuffing, phone-call making, grassroots work to make it happen.

Now is the time!

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