31 October 2008

ENDORSEMENTS - Vote Straight Democratic

For United States President: Barack Obama

Senator Obama was not my first choice, and probably not even my second choice when the campaign began. However, as the primaries and campaign continued, I saw emerge from the rhetoric a true leader grounded in all that is great about America.

He, and his party, are certainly right about the things which deeply matter to me: fairness, dignity, and respect for all, opportunity to work hard and better one's self, a focus on people rather than institutions of influence and wealth, and a dedication to the most basic precepts of our constitution through the empowerment of people by creating programs and policies of support and opportunity rather than those of rationing, restriction, punishment and hindrance.

But, beyond the issues, the policies, and the positions, there is something even stronger, more personal and visceral. Senator Obama is a leader at a time our nation fairly wails out for leadership. He has come through a bitter, vicious, hate-attack filled campaign of lies, misrepresentations, and provocations remaining cool, calm, composed and sharply focused on the issues rather than engaging in tit-for-tat personality and ad-hominem assault.

But, more than that, he comes through as a man of vision, decency, honesty and purpose. He's a hard-working family man who always takes time for his kids. He's like the men I served with, the people I work with today, and so many members of my community. He's a good man, who I would be proud to call friend.

While active in the Marines, I had a battalion commander, who later became a two-star, that we would gladly have followed to attack the gates of hell armed with only a tea-cup of water. Obama demonstrates many of the qualities of that man, and I trust him enough to tell you that I'm ready, if not to attack, to certainly fill up that tea-cup and have it at the ready!

FOR UNITED STATES SENATE - TEXAS: RICK NORIEGA

I have had the singular honor and very distinct pleasure to "mount the stump" on several rallies and political gatherings on behalf Representative Noriega. I've been able to watch first hand as he talks to Texans from all walks of life and to observe how ready and knowledgeable he is of the details of the problems they're facing. More importantly, to listen as he makes common sense proposals to eradicate or solve those problems.

He does not cloak himself in a filter of "feel-good" or hide behind buzz-words meant to convey business as usual. His campaigns ads do not invoke meaningless images of rising suns, cattle grazing and Texas Good-Ole Boy canards. They are to the point and honest.

Too long Texans have been shackled to two Senators in lock-step with Bush and his neo-com agenda of world hegemony on behalf of big oil and other vested interests. If for no other reason than that he opposes the Bush & "Crony" Cornyn programs of deregulation and privatization of Social Security and dismantling of Medicare we should vote for Rick Noriega.

As with Senator Obama though, there is a bit more. There is that innate quality of decency and honesty. A sense that this man comes to the campaign, not from a sense of entitlement, but, rather, from that old-fashioned Texas virtue of having a vision for the good of all and a willingness to work and put it on line to bring about that vision.

I believe Rick Noriega to be a decent, hard-working, family man, who has served both his country and his state in the military and the legislature with great distinction who deserves our support. If we fail to send this man to Washington, we fail ourselves!

FOR TEXAS SUPREME COURT - VOTE DEMOCRATIC

For the first time in fourteen years, we have three very well qualified Democratic candidates for the Texas Supreme Court; Jim Jordan, Sam Houston, and Linda Yanez.

While this court only decides civil cases, its nine justices are all Republican and of a single extreme, reactionary-right mindset. One University of Texas law professor's review of the court's 2004 and 2005 tort cases revealed that the court decided on the side of defendants (businesses) 87% of the time.

An example of pro-business bias was its 9-0 decision in the Entergy case which, for the first time, protected plant operators from negligence lawsuits when contract workers were injured on the job. That decision required the court to ignore years of actual practice and legislative initiatives.

Elsewhere, the court ruled 6-3, that a young woman held captive and tied down for two hours by a church in order to expel the demons possessing her could not be held liable. The majority claimed Constitutional protection for religious liberty protected the church from liability.

Numerous ethical questions have come up about their using political accounts for personal travel expenses, and other embarrassments, including attempts to get the legislature to pay one's legal bills for defending himself in an ethic violation case.

Enough! Vote to balance the Texas Supreme Court. Vote Democratic!