Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
On behalf of all Texans, Rick Noriega congratulates the City of Austin as he shares in their excitement as host of the 2008 Netroots Nation convention. The Netroots community has not only proven that it can change the conventional wisdom of politics, but that it can change the conventional practices of politics as well.
We have the opportunity to enact meaningful change in the makeup of the U.S. Senate in 2008 and Rick is proud to be the candidate to put Texas in play. Our grassroots movement in Texas has garnered Democracy for America's first Senate endorsement, the support of John Kerry and Wesley Clark, the backing of the Texas netroots and Blue America communities, as well as contributions from over 2,400 online donors-- the most donors of any Senate challenger on ActBlue.
Welcome to Austin, Netroots! Rick and our entire campaign team look forward to meeting many of you in person next July 17-20.
-Sue Schechter, Campaign Manager
Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Thanks to overwhelming support from the grassroots around Texas, State Representative Rick Noriega has become Democracy for America's first U.S. Senate endorsement for 2008! Thousands of Democracy for Texas supporters and Texans from all walks of life joined together to voice their support of Rick's candidacy.
A message from DFA Chair Jim Dean will be coming later this week. But don't wait for it - make a contribution to Rick's campaign today!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 08:24 AM CST
Answering the call to serve.
The rumors are true- I'm moving back to Texas!
Currently, I'm writing you from the Boston-Logan Airport where I will soon board a jetBlue flight to Austin (via JFK in New York) with my cat (Catfish). As you can see, she's handling it quite well. She wasn't much help with the $50 cab fare to get here (taxis are crazy expensive in Boston) but she seems just as eager as I to return to warmer Texas weather. And of course, to Rick Noriega's Senate campaign.
It's roughly 2,000 miles from Boston and Austin.
We'll be flying for about 6.5 hours, arriving in Texas at 5 pm.
$208 for Noriega gets us to New York.
$570 for Noriega gets us to Virginia.
$1,100 for Noriega gets us to Georgia.
$1,415 for Noriega gets us to Mississippi.
$2,000 for Noriega gets us home to Texas!
That's $2,000 by 5pm, just $300 an hour- and I'm even give you a head start! I won't be able to check in on the progress of this effort until we land in the Lone Star state so I'm putting my faith in you to support our presumptive Democratic nominee to defeat John Cornyn. I wouldn't be returning to Texas if I didn't think Rick Noriega represented a once in a decade opportunity to change Texas politics.
It's time to retire Junior Senator John Cornyn.
And you can do it for just $1 a mile.
Our eyes are upon you Texas. Will you, too, answer the call?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
DREAM Act Vote Shows the Two Faces of John Cornyn
Texas' junior senator votes against college access bill after declaring his support to El Pasoans; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison votes to continue debate on mainstream measure.
(Houston, TX) – Talking out of one side of his mouth when he visits the border, and another when he votes in Washington, Senator John Cornyn once again voted against the children and the future of Texas yesterday.
During an August visit to El Paso, the junior senator from Texas declared his support for the DREAM Act, the El Paso Times reported.1 Yet, when faced with a vote yesterday, he failed to join 12 of his Republican colleagues – including Texas' senior Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – in passing the bill.
"I applaud Senator Hutchison for doing the right thing while John Cornyn was backing away from his promise. The DREAM Act benefits those kids who know no other home, had no say in the matter when their parents brought them to America, and who did what we've asked of them by working hard," Noriega said.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would provide access to college for children brought to the United States illegally, and create a path to citizenship for such children so long as they were enrolled in school or the military.
"The DREAM Act is a statement that Texans believe in education. John Cornyn has chosen to reverse his position for political gain, opting instead to exploit the education of Hispanic children to use as a wedge issue," Noriega said.
State Representative Noriega passed a Texas version of the DREAM Act in 2001, which subsequently has allowed over 10,000 Texas children access to college and set them on the path to becoming educated, productive, and taxpaying Texans.
The federal DREAM Act, which fell short of the necessary 60 votes, 52-44, would have granted conditional legal status to those who entered the country before the age of 16, have lived in the United States more than five years, graduate high school, lack a criminal record, and demonstrate "good moral character." Conditional status would be lifted only after the completion of at least two years of higher education or military service, and citizenship could only be applied for after five years.
Last month, Senator Cornyn voted against a State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill, and subsequently opted not to override President Bush's veto.
"Once again, Senator Cornyn voted against the children of Texas and against the future. First, he voted against health insurance for children, and now he's voted against education. In Texas, we value children. We don't try to limit their opportunities based on political calculations," Noriega said.
# # #
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Melissa Noriega's City Hall Accomplishments
After being sworn into City Council on June 27th, Mayor Bill White assigned Melissa Noriega to the following committees. Melissa moved swiftly to make a positive impact on issues that affect Houstonians.
Some recent actions and current committee work by Noriega:
QUALITY OF LIFE COMMITTEE:
Issues affecting parks, greenspace, graffiti, billboards, signage, and litter
- Refurbishment of Hermann Park mini-train
- Gus Wortham Golf Course remodeling
- Old Sixth Ward Historical District
Regulation and permitting functions affecting flooding and drainage, communication with affected stakeholders, coordination with other governmental entities, long-range planning for flooding and drainage, emergency preparedness as it relates to flooding
- Chapter 19 (construction in floodways and floodplains)
Public safety, law enforcement, and the Houston Emergency Center
- Oversized truck ordinance
- Mid-rise ordinance
Public health, environmental laws, regional compliance with the Clean Air Act, coordination with HGAC and other bodies on environmental and health issues
- Fats, oil and grease ordinance
- Pay or Play policy
- Nuisance ordinance
- Registration of polluting companies
- Mobile food unit ordinance
Early voting is going on now through November 2nd. You can find early voting locations and schedules on my website at melissanoriega.com and at harrisvotes.com. It's also not too late to get a vote by mail ballot.
Thank you for your support and for your vote,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
TDP CHAIR BOYD RICHIE ON MIKAL WATTS' WITHDRAWAL FROM SENATE RACE
"The Texas Democratic Party appreciates Mikal Watts' dedication to our state and the value of public service. In the time he campaigned for the U.S. Senate, Mikal made a significant contribution, raising a number of important issues on behalf of the vast majority of Texans who would be better served by a Senator who works for us rather than the special interests. I respect Mikal's commitment to his family and look forward to working with him in the future to make Texas a better place for all our families."
LAMPSON STATEMENT ON TEXAS U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
HOUSTON, TX – Congressman Nick Lampson (D-Stafford) issued the following statement today after Mikal Watts withdrew his bid for the Democratic nomination to run for the U.S. Senate.
"I wish Mikal the very best in his future endeavors. Rick Noriega is a dedicated public servant, a leader, and a soldier who has made enormous sacrifices for our nation. Rick is going to do great things in Washington for Texas."
On the announcement that Mr. Watts will withdraw from the U.S. Senate Race:
Congratulations are in order to Mr. Watts, to Representative Noriega, and to the people of Texas.
I respect Mr. Watts for his decision and effort to step forward and explore, and understand his family- oriented choice announced today.
I support Lt. Colonel Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate. Texas needs his leadership and service. His efforts will also lead the way for those of us who desire to serve the public in elective office.
Dear Eric,I received a call from Mikal Watts this morning informing me that he has decided to withdraw from the Democratic Primary race for the United States Senate. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, the credit goes to the man in the arena. And Mikal Watts will always have my utmost respect for standing in the arena and highlighting how John Cornyn has let Texas down, placing political extremists and his financial contributors ahead of the people of Texas. Of course, this is not the first time Mikal has been in the arena -- he's been a true friend to Democrats in Texas and throughout the nation, and has always had the courage to stand up for his convictions.
Today, Mikal made a very difficult and personal decision to put his family first. That's a reflection of a strong character and a truly grounded leader.Mikal and I made plans to sit down together in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'll continue the campaign that we started together and fight for the vision for a better Texas that we continue to share. Sincerely, Rick Noriega
Democrat for U.S. Senate
Mikal Watts knows what's important. He said in a statement, "For the last five months I have been exploring a race for the United States Senate because I believe that our junior senator, John Cornyn, has let Texas down and is more concerned with his cronies and friends in Washington than with what's best for Texas." And for this, he is truly a good Democrat.
Where Joe Lieberman not only lost the primary, but was so full of himself, he created the "Connecticut for Lieberman" banner to run under to continue his campaign, Mikal Watts sees the true light, that the current administration and our junior senator is wrong, and he is willing to put the people of Texas first. He knows a long primary will only cost dollars that could be used to defeat Cornyn, and is really supporting the entire Democratic ticket in this action. For that, I admire Mr. Watts for the courage and strength to graciously bow out of the race.
In a Statement:
"For the last five months I have been exploring a race for the United States Senate because I believe that our junior senator, John Cornyn, has let Texas down and is more concerned with his cronies and friends in Washington than with what's best for Texas.
"After spending the last several months putting everything into this campaign, I have seen the toll this effort has taken on my young children. For these reasons, my wife and I have made the decision that I will not be seeking the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in 2008. I was brought up to believe that public service is a noble endeavor and I will continue to be involved at some level in the future. However, I realize that my time now should be devoted to serving my children so they may grow up in a healthy environment with both parents at home to meet their needs.
"The reasons for creating my exploratory committee still exist. As I have criss-crossed the state and met and talked with tens of thousands of good Texans, it is evident how much the people of Texas want and need a Senator who will fight every day for their interests and not the special interests. We need to elect a new Senator in Texas and I will personally do everything possible to support the Democratic nominee.
"It is hard to express the gratitude I feel for all the support my family and I have received as we have pursued this effort. I know that our vision for the future of Texas is one that all of our friends and supporters share. It's been one of the greatest blessings of my life for their faith in me, and for all of their hard work over the past months. While the decision not to seek the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate has been a difficult one, I know that it is the right one for my family at this time."
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Friday night at the Dallas Democratic Part Fish Fry, a man stood up during Watt's speech and announced "he's Anti-Choice" etc and started booing him. I would love to shake that man's hand!!! Mikal was so hurt by this that he canceled a $10,000 speakers table at the Johnson, Rayburn Richards Harris County Democratic Party dinner. I guess Mikal cannot stand the heat. Texas and Texas Women would be better off if Daddy Warbucks dropped out of the race completely.
The Women of Texas are a tough breed and deserve respect from political candidates and officials. Here is a sign I saw yesterday in Austin.
When you run for office and say a Texas Woman is smart enough to raise a child but too stupid to make a medical decision you take your chances. While I was not raised in Texas, I respect strong, independent, and smart women. My Mom raised two boys on her own and would not let a man decide her fate. I have met many strong women in Texas through the years and I doubt the women of Texas like the fact that Mikal Watts thinks he knows what is better for them either. A woman's right to chose is not something any politician should be involved in unless it is guaranteeing that right is never taken away. I have a feeling Mikal will be booed a few more times before he either loses the primary of has enough sense to step out of the race.
Don't Mess With Texas
MY BODY! MY CHOICE!
Rick Noriega felt nothing but love this weekend at both events where he was welcomed enthusiastically by people attending both events. Rick got a standing ovation when he went up to the microphone to introduce Mayor White of Houston at Saturday night's event. This did not happen for any of the other people who introduced speakers. Mayor White called Rick the next Senator from Texas.
Rick in his 5 terms in the Texas Legislature has been a champion of Women's Rights. He respects the independent nature of our strong women and is the man we need in Washington. Rick has proven over and over he is the candidate of the people and actually cares about Texans and not just a title. Join Team Noriega and make a donation.
Noriega Express Yard Sign
Friday, October 19, 2007
First, let me thank you for your support. With your help to Rick Noriega's campaign, we raised more money from individual contributors than our primary opponent in the third fundraising quarter. With your continued commitment and support, Rick Noriega will be well on his way to be the next U.S. Senator from Texas.
During the July-September fundraising period, we raised over a half million dollars -- $530,722 -- from individual donors and PACs, including VoteVets.org PAC. The total bested our largely self-funded millionaire opponent and demonstrates that Texans are ready for change ["Noriega bests Watts in individual donations," Associated Press, October 16, 2007].1
Our fundraising success is a reflection of a true grassroots effort in this campaign that's bringing Texans together from all walks of life. It is a movement that is catching fire and it's exactly the kind of effort needed to beat John Cornyn and help get our country back on track.
Slowly but surely the traditional media is catching on to what we've known all along. The traditional standards for measuring campaigns no longer apply ["Wealth may not be enough for Watts in Senate race," Houston Chronicle, October 16, 2007].2
As a five-term legislator, standing up for public education, health care, and women's rights; as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas National Guard who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan; as the Incident Commander assisting Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston; and today as a citizen candidate for the United States Senate -- Rick Noriega continues to answer the call.
But this campaign is about more than Rick. It's about a call to serve, and more and more people are joining us every day in answering that call. You have been a key force in our growth and momentum. And for showing that leadership, I want to thank you.
We know we're not done yet, though. We must continue to work to bring an end to the war in Iraq, to stand up for the health of all children, and change the culture of politics that divides rather than unites.
If you're able to make yet another donation today to help us continue in our cause, it will help send a message that we are not taking our success for granted, and that we won't stop until we unseat George Bush's rubberstamp Senator, and bring true Texas values to the floor of the United States Senate. Please click here to donate today to continue to support the campaign. Thanks again!
Rick Noriega for Texas
Democrat for U.S. Senate
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Read This Article: Taxes Won't Cure Cancer
Here's my response:
Liz Young is Wrong!
What were you doing in January, 2001? Like 50,000 other high school seniors across the world, I was writing my “Question 1” essay for admission to The University of Texas, but unlike any other applicant that year, mine was written on a laptop in the waiting room at the purple ward at
Fortunately, hers was discovered in a very early stage and she has had no major complications since her operation almost seven years ago. In fact, there’s nearly a 100% 5-year survival rate for Stage 1 breast cancer after treatment, and a 5-year rate across all stages is about 86%. The reason for this is research and awareness, and I find it important that we’ve fittingly raised this issue in October, breast cancer awareness month.
In 2007 more than 95,000 Texans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 37,000 Texans will lose their lives to the disease. The illness costs Texans $30 billion each year in both direct and indirect costs. With the best medical center in the world right here in
Cancer affects all Texans, whether you personally know a victim, or you know them vicariously through others, but they’re out there. They’re out at walks across the country, raising awareness and asking for support. We ought to lend it to them. Support Proposition 15, support my mother.
Eric T. Tung
Independent Blogger - NoriegaBlog.com
More from LIVESTRONG
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This from the El Paso Times
Although the actual campaign accounts vary by several million dollars (Watts self-contributed $7.5M so far to his campaign), it seems that Noriega has garnered more support in individual contributions than Watts.
Local leaders welcome U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega to Uvalde State Representative Pete Gallego joins Governor Briscoe in praising Noriega for bringing military experience to national debate
(Uvalde, TX) – State Representative and Army Lt. Col. Rick Noriega, who is exploring a run for the U.S. Senate, was the Special Guest last Wednesday night at a fundraiser honoring fellow State Representative Pete Gallego (D-Alpine). Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Uvalde County Democratic Party Chairman Pat Dodson hosted the event at the Oasis Outback Bar-B-Q. Governor Briscoe and Representative Gallego recently announced their endorsements for Noriega's bid for Senate.
"I am honored to receive the support of Governor Briscoe and my colleague, Representative Gallego," said Representative Noriega.
In his statement endorsing Representative Noriega, Governor Briscoe called Noriega a "humble public servant."
"I think in these times an essential criteria for representing Texas in the United States Senate is service in the military, a person who has walked the walk. Rick's service to his country in Afghanistan makes Texans proud," Briscoe said.
"In the Legislature, Rick served as the point man on border security, helping put politics aside and bringing a common sense law enforcement perspective based on his first-hand experience serving in Operation Jump Start," said Gallego, whose district includes Uvalde County.
Noriega discussed with Briscoe, Gallego, and another South Texas legislator, State Representative Tracy King (D-Eagle Pass), the need to strengthen the V.A. health system to provide the care veterans deserve, and his challenge to Republican Senator John Cornyn to stand up for Texas children and support the Children's Health Insurance Program.
"I appreciate every opportunity I have to hear the concerns of people throughout Texas, whether here in Uvalde or up in the Panhandle," Noriega said.
Rick Noriega, in his fifth term as a State Representative from Houston, led the effort to increase teacher pay during this year's legislative session. A Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and as the incident commander at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, leading the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A recent Houston Chronicle headline states that Senator John Cornyn "touts" health care reform.
But Senator Cornyn has little to brag about: He voted against the reauthorization of health insurance for kids -- twice.
Next week, Senator Cornyn has to decide whether or not he will vote to override President Bush's veto of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program), the program that provides affordable health care for America's children.
Will you join me and demand that Senator Cornyn override Bush's veto and renew medical care for our kids?
In the military, we often say, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." Cornyn has failed to lead on health care in this country -- and when given the chance to follow, he followed in the wrong direction by voting against SCHIP.
Senator Cornyn can either choose to side with over 200,000 Texan children who were knocked off SCHIP in 2003 -- or get out of the way.
Renewing SCHIP would help working parents, who work day-in and day-out just to make ends meet, provide health insurance for their kids. Don't our children deserve the same quality health care that our Senators in Congress enjoy?
The upcoming override vote is about upholding real Texas values. Real Texas values are about standing up for our children.
SCHIP is supported by members of both parties, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; yet John Cornyn still can't rise above his partisanship -- voting against this legislation twice.
Please join me in this fight to ensure that all children in Texas have health care -- email Senator Cornyn today!
Democrat for U.S. Senate
Check it out from our friends over at the BOR:
Monday, October 1, 2007
$570,000: Rick Noriega Raises As Much As Casey, Brown, and Webb in COMBINED In The Same Period, 2006
Monday, October 1st, 2007 James Aldrete, 512-751-3448
Noriega Exploratory Campaign to report $570,000
Lt. Col. who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan exceeds benchmark
set by 4 out of 5 of the 2006 winning Democratic Senate challengers in his first federal financial disclosure report
(Houston, TX) — Rick Noriega announced today contributions of $570,000 for the October 15th FEC financial disclosure report. The report, the first for the State Representative and Lt. Colonel’s exploratory campaign, shows growing momentum for his campaign to unseat incumbent Republican John Cornyn.
“Rick Noriega’s strength is his story,” noted his campaign manager Sue Schechter, referring to his long history of service, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan, playing a leading role in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Houston, commanding troops and serving five terms as a State Representative. “As our very first FEC report makes clear, Rick has the fundraising appeal and a growing network of supporters to ensure we’ll have the resources to communicate his story to the voters.”
Noriega’s fundraising totals put Texas on the map nationally, besting the benchmarks set by 4 out of 5 of the winning Democratic challengers in 2006 Senate races. As the attached chart shows, Noriega’s totals put him ahead of the 2006-October 15th filings of John Tester (D-MT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jim Webb (D-VA), whose victories last cycle helped secure Democratic control of the US Senate. Noriega’s totals are ahead of all winners except Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who was waging her third statewide race and received much of her support from national donors.
In addition to Noriega’s support from a growing list of the state’s leading Democratic donors, the campaign also raised $158,860 online from over 1,100 donations via ActBlue, the Democratic clearinghouse for online donations. That made the Noriega campaign the most successful non-incumbent Senate candidate on ActBlue during the 3rd quarter. The report also includes a $5,000 contribution from VoteVets.org PAC, the leading political organization of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as well as a $50,000 loan Noriega made to his own campaign, and nearly 1,300 unique contributors.
“Our fundraising network includes pro-choice women from Dallas, business leaders from the Valley, Democratic icons from across the state, and small dollar donors from a retired woman in Wichita Falls to over 1,100 contributors on the Internet,” Schechter explained.
“We accomplished this milestone in the toughest fundraising quarter, after Col. Noriega served in a grueling legislative session, and lost two weeks of fundraising while he fulfilled his guard duty at Fort Benning, GA,” added Schechter. “We continue to run a lean operation, because we know we’re in this for the long haul,” Schechter continued, referring to aggressive efforts to minimize overhead expenditures. “But one thing is for sure, despite our primary opponent’s efforts to portray himself as the next Daddy Warbucks, more and more Texans are showing they prefer to invest in experience, not just a checkbook.”
Additional details on Rick Noriega’s report will follow mid-week along with a digital copy of the official disclosure.
Round 1: Pick the "Democrat":
A) “I personally have the view: I hold the pro-life position with three exceptions: one for rape, one for incest, one for the life of the mother.”
B) "the circumstances when abortion should be allowed are limited to protect the life of the mother, rape or incest."
C) “...come to the conclusion that the exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother are legitimate exceptions”
D) "...is pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother."
E) "...would not change current law on abortion funding, which prohibits federal funding except in cases of incest, rape, or life endangerment."
F) "banning federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when a pregnant woman's life is in jeopardy"
G) "...justifies abortion in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother"
Ok, are you ready? Listen to this sound clip. Guess who this is:
powered by ODEO
You may be surprised to hear that both the sound clip (from Capitol Annex), and selection "A" from above are both from Mikal Watts. Check out a post from last month that we've covered this: Party Like A Rockstar.
Oh, and in case you're curious here are the rest:
B) George Bush
C) John McCain
D) Mitt Romney
E) Rudolph Giuliani
F) Fred Thompson
G) John Cornyn
Round 2: Try Again... Pick the "Democrat"
A) "[about his anti-choice stance] that is a view i hold because my view of when life begins"
B) "I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that the preborn child deserves all the rights and protections afforded an American citizen."
C) "...we believe life begins at conception, and that we ought to do everything in the world possible to protect it until its natural conclusion.
D) ”I do believe that life begins at conception,”
E) "life begins....at conception.”
F) "I believe human life begins at conception."
G) "That's correct. It--I think it's a fundamental belief that life begins when it's--at conception"
Once again, Mikal Watts, "A" stands staunchly on the Red side of the spectrum when it comes to conception. Not only does Mikal Watts stand against a woman's right to her own health and welfare, he justifies it with the republican party standard line.
Here's the answer key to the rest:
B) Duncan Hunter
C) Mike Huckabee
D) John McCain
E) George W. Bush
F) Bill Frist
G) Rick Santorum
From Vince Liebowitz:
The "life begins at conception" soundbite is very popular among Republicans and is specifically designed to send a message to everyone who hears it, notes the TAPPED blog at American Prospect:"Life begins at conception" is code for the extremist anti-choice position that wants hormonal birth control pills, the morning after pill, and intrauterine devices to be outlawed as abortion-inducing agents, or "abortifacients." All these methods prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman's uterus. They prevent pregnancy, but not conception.
The Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate in Texas will very likely boil down to the issue of a woman's right to choose. Clearly, it's a significant difference between the two candidates. Rick Noriega, as a matter of fact, has a 100 percent pro-choice rating for several sessions. (See endnote at bottom of this post). Mikal Watts, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.
Would Watts' beliefs mean that he would be prone to vote against abortion bills? Most likely. Do Watts' beliefs mean he would be likely to vote against confirmation of pro-choice judicial nominees in favor of more conservative, anti-choice judges? Probably.
Texas may not be the most progressive state in America, and most Texans believe abortion is against their moral beliefs. However, a great many Texans also believe it should be a safe, legal alternative for women according to a 2007 Texas Lyceum Poll .
A 2004 Scripps-Howard/Texas Poll showed an even larger number than the Lyceum poll, believe the choice should be left entirely up to the woman :
A 2004 Scripps Howard Texas Poll found that 81% of Texans agree with the statement, "Abortion is a complex issue that is better left in the hands of a woman, her doctor, her family, and her God, rather than in the hands of politicians."
Clearly, if Texas women (and Texas men, for that matter), want to see Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose protected, Mikal Watts isn't the right choice. Why replace one anti-choice senator with another?
And how does Rick rank on the issue? He has been rated by NARAL - Pro-Choice Texas with straight 100% ratings.
Friday, September 28, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Thursday, September 27th, 2007 James Aldrete, 512-751-3448
Leading Veteran political organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans endorses Rick Noriega for Senate
VoteVets.org makes Texas the battleground on ending the War in Iraq
(Houston, TX) — VoteVets.org, the leading political organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, today endorsed the U.S. Senate candidacy of Rick Noriega in his effort to unseat incumbent Republican John Cornyn.
Founded in 2006 by Iraq War Veterans Jon Soltz and Jeremy Broussard, VoteVets.org has endorsed eight candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, and held 11 Members of Congress accountable for failing to provide body armor and health care to active service members. The organization’s Board of Advisors includes respected veterans who speak from experience, including General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) and former Senator Bob Kerrey.
“As an Afghanistan veteran, you are keenly aware that the current course we are on has not only brought our fine Army and Marine Corps to the breaking point, but has endangered our security,” Soltz wrote in his letter to Noriega, noting the growing threat of al Qaeda once again in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The dose of reality you will bring to the floor of the Senate couldn’t come at a more important time.”
Noriega, who serves as a Lt. Col. in the National Guard, has been an outspoken critic of the Administration’s policies in Iraq, and John Cornyn’s failed leadership. “The problem is, we hold a private in the US Army to a higher level of accountability than the junior Senator from the state of Texas,” Noriega stated. “Real Texans don't vote against giving troops time home with their families. I've had the privilege of serving shoulder-to-shoulder with our men and women in uniform, and I'm ready to lead the fight in the US Senate to end this war."
Soltz, in his letter, called John Cornyn “one of the weakest voices on troops’ and veterans’ issues,” and noting his refusal to allow our military to refit and rearm along with his votes against care for veterans, he added “Texans have little to be proud of when it comes to John Cornyn’s record on veterans and troops.” The endorsement from VoteVets.org follows on the heels of the endorsement by the State Association of Fire Fighters, and a growing number of Democratic leaders supporting Noriega’s candidacy to represent the State of Texas in the United States Senate.
— 30 —
September 27, 2007
State Rep. Rick Noriega
Rick Noriega for US Senate Campaign
PO Box 231163
Houston, TX 77223
Dear Representative Noriega,
I am writing to inform you that VoteVets.org PAC has decided to endorse your campaign for the United States Senate. Congratulations! As you know, VoteVets.org PAC is the leading political organization of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, representing the voices of thousands who served with us in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
At this crucial time in the course of our nation, the Senate is in dire need of a new voice from the Afghanistan and Iraq veterans’ community. We believe, as Senator from Texas, you will not just represent your state well, but will stand out as one of the strongest and most credible voices in support of our fellow troops and veterans, and the military.
As an Afghanistan veteran, you are keenly and personally aware that the current course we are on has not only brought our fine Army and Marine Corp to the breaking point, but has endangered our security, as al Qaeda has been able to reconstitute and strengthen itself in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The dose of reality that you will bring to the floor of the Senate couldn’t come at a more important time.
Unfortunately for Texans, one of the weakest voices on troops’ and veterans’ issues has been John Cornyn. Whether it’s his steadfast refusal to allow our military time to refit and rearm for the long fight against terror ahead, or his votes against care for veterans, Texas has little to be proud of when it comes to John Cornyn’s record on the veterans and troops. We know, however, you will be our champion.
We firmly believe that Texas, our military, our veterans, and the nation will be strongly served by having you on the floor of the United States Senate. We’re pleased, therefore, to offer you our enthusiastic endorsement.
Best of luck in your campaign!
Iraq War Veteran
Thursday, September 27, 2007
No, not really. But imagine my surprise when I was checking out my blog today and I saw an ad for Mikal Watts. Ironic, ya think?
He probably can't actually buy Google, but he's definitely supported it well, being plastered up on every single major blog and website I go to. It seems that he's tacking himself up next to every time Rick Noriega is mentioned anywhere. It's almost creepy.
Here are just a few examples I've rounded up today:
LeftyBlogs (Red background)
Google Search for "Rick Noriega" (White background)
Daily Kos (Orange Writing)
Burnt Orange Report (Orange Background)
MY OWN BLOG! (Bluish background)
For the purposes of humor, I'll leave up the Mikal Watts ads. It costs him money every time you see one!
So we're taking the same percentage that want change in Washington for Texas. The difference falls in that fact that middle ground where most are still leaning towards Cornyn.
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 9/24-26. Likely voters. MoE 4%
If the 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you to reelect John Cornyn, would you consider voting for another candidate, or would you vote to replace Cornyn?
If 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Rick Noriega, the Democrat, and John Cornyn, the Republican?
Cornyn (R) 51
Noriega (D) 35
Also, Cornyn polls poorly among senior citizens - a strong voting population. We'll have to keep an eye on this, and swing more of the "cosnder" and "reelect" votes over to our side.Note that in January 2006, a Rasmussen poll said this:
TEXAS SURVEY of 500 likely voters
Thursday, January 5, 2006
1* Now... If the election for Senator were held today, would you vote for Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison or for Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky?
4% some other candidate
6% not sure
Hon. Joe Bernal
Hon. Joaquin Castro
Hon. Henry Cisneros
Hon. Mary Alice Cisneros
Hon. Trey Martinez Fischer
Hon. Pete Gallego
Dr. Cha Guzman
Hon. Charlie Urbina Jones
Ernest J. Martinez
Henry R. Munoz III
Hon. Justin Rodriguez
Hon. Sylvia Romo
Hon. Elliot Shapleigh
Hon. Mike Villarreal
Hon. Leticia Van De Putte
For a reception in support of
State Rep. &
and his exploratory campaign for US Senate
Friday, September 28th
La Margarita Restaurant
120 Produce Row
San Antonio Texas
$2,300 ~ Patron
$1000 ~ Host
$500 ~ Sponsor
$250 ~ Friend
Please make checks payable to “Rick Noriega for Senate”
For more information or to RSVP,
From the New York Times, an aerial view of these Navy Barracks near San Diego, California show the shape without question. The resemblance went unnoticed for decades, as the area was off-limits to commercial aircraft, and was only recently noticed with the assistance of Google Earth.
The Navy became aware of the situation after the groundbreaking, butPublish Post decided not to do anything about it, as they thought it wouldn't be noticed.
The Anti-Defamation League in San Diego has objected to the shape of the buildings.
“We told the Navy this was an incredibly inappropriate shape for a structure on a military installation,” said Morris S. Casuto, regional director of the organization. He added, however, that his group “never ascribed evil intent to the structures’ design.”
Mr. Casuto praised the Navy for recognizing the problem and “doing the right thing.”
The $600,000 for the changes is included in the Navy’s approved 2008 budget.
This 557-acre sanctuary lies approximately ten miles south of Brownsville, along the southern most bend of the Rio Grande. The sanctuary contains the largest remaining tract of Sabal Palm forest that once blanketed the Rio Grande Delta. Two hundred and eighty-nine species of birds have been recorded at the site, and diversity of species using the area is high in all seasons of the year.And according to the Brownsville Herald, as much as 75% of the protected lands in the Rio Grande could see a direct impact from the wall. Migratory birds flight patterns would be disrupted, and animals access to the water could be impeded.
Sabal Palm is one of six breeding area for the highly threatened Brownsville Common Yellowthroat. The sanctuary provides stop-over habitat for a variety of circum-gulf neotropical-nearctic migratory songbirds including Bell’s Vireo, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Painted Bunting and Dickcissel.
“The fence is going to be bad for the refuge and for wildlife,” said Jim Chapman, president of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Group of the Sierra Club. “Our biggest concern is that it’s a barrier to animals, keeping them from crossing to the river. It’s likely to impact endangered and non-endangered species.”
The US Customs and Border Control is seeking public comments for the assessment until Oct. 15. Comments can be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax or on the Web until that date.
(a) Electronically through the website at: www.BorderFenceNEPA.com;
(b) By email to: RGVcomments@BorderFenceNEPA.com;
(c) By mail to: Rio Grande Valley Tactical Infrastructure EIS, c/o e2M, 2751 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 200, Fairfax, Virginia 22031; or
(d) By fax to: (757) 282-7697.
With nearly 1,000 contributors, Rick has garnered over $100K in contributions on ActBlue, with all but 15% from Netroots for Noriega.
In fact, I'm so excited, any word you click in this post will bring you to the ActBlue contribution page.
Make your contribution today!
This from a Wall Street Journal piece about Watts and Bayer:
Midway through the trial, Mr. Watts e-mailed Bayer lawyers suggesting they fly to his Texas ranch over a weekend. He provided the coordinates of his airstrip. Bayer's Mr. Lykos says he was dumbfounded, telling Mr. Beck: "I've just changed my definition of rich. It's not just having your own airplane but having your own airport."For the record, Mikal has two airplanes.
Originally posted over at overlawyered, lawyers and the law community are now weighing in about Mikal Watts' judge-buying scandal.
Invoking these comments:
If I ever received a letter like that, invoking either friendship or donations, it would go straight to the disciplinary committee. (Eric @ New York Personal Injury Law Blog)It's also since been picked up by other law blogs:
My first stop would be every newspaper office I could think of. Then the disciplinary committee. (John Burgess)
But with a letter making such threats, to actually leave written eveidence of such things: could you give Mr. Watts a poke from something beyond the (in Texas, completely useless, see previous post) disciplinary comittee? Is there no "judge tampering" equivalent of the jury tampering charge? (Griffin3)
This strikes me as a fairly clear violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. See Rule 8.04(a)(5) (prohibiting lawyers from "stat[ing] or imply[ing] an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official"). Watts's comments concerning his firm's contributions to the justices logically could serve no other purpose than to imply improper influence. (The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk)
Another reason not to popularly elect judges--ever, anywhere. - What About Clients
If you're not reading Overlawyered... - Point of Law
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
According to the Statesman:
Texas fourth- and eighth-grade students have made large gains in math in the past 15 years, but more moderate progress in reading, according to federal test results released Tuesday.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card, offers a state-by-state view of fourth- and eighth-grade student performance in the two core subject areas.On average, students in Texas performed as well or better than their peers across the nation. The average Texas eighth-grade math score this year was 286 on a scale of 500, up 28 points since 1990 and six points higher than this year's national average. The eighth-grade reading score this year was 261, not significantly different from the 1998 score and the same as the national average.
Critics of No Child Left Behind, including Monty Neill, co-executive director of the nonprofit National Center for Fair and Open Testing in Cambridge, Mass., said the test results show that progress has slowed since the 2001 law took effect.
"This happened despite the fact that curriculum narrowed in many schools to little more than test preparation in reading and math," Neill said.
The Texas League of Conservation Voters has just released their Legislative Scorecard for 2007 which ranks my favorite Texas House of Representatives member, Rick Noriega, with an A+ on environmental issues.
The league works to "preserve and enhance the quality of life of Texans by making conservation a top priority with Texas elected officials, political candidates, and voters," and lists its recommendations and observations of state legislators by voting record in each legislative session. Melissa Noriega, my second favorite member of the Texas House, also scored an A+ for her work in 2005.
A look at the scores:
Average House score: 56% (C)
Avg. Republican score: 32% (F)
Avg. Democratic score: 84% (A)
Perfect 100s: 11
Overachievers (A+): 36 - includes Rick
Failures (F): 56
House Republicans over 50%: 2
House Democrats below 50%: 3
Highest Republican score: Kirk England (69%)
Lowest Democratic Score: Joe Pickett: (37%)
Fifty years ago yesterday, the Little Rock Nine bravely marched into a previously all-white schoolhouse, demanding equality for themselves, and blacks across America. They stood proudly, and showed us that those kids had the power and determination to stand up for what's right, but after five decades, what are the results?
Last week, tens of thousands of supporters rallied around the Jena-6, a group of six black teens that were involved in a fight after another sat under the "white tree" at their high school campus. Nooses were hung from that tree, which led to tensions at the school, erupting in a fight where one white student was injured. The black teens were charged with attempted second-degree murder.
This week, a black-faced lawn ornament that was tied by a noose to a mailbox with a chain around its ankle made news in Toledo, Ohio for being racist. The homeowner claims it had been there for years without causing a disturbance, but Lefty Blogs has a Glass City Jungle post ranked at #1 for the week.
Tomorrow, The "All American Presidential Forum" will air on PBS focusing on minority issues and hosted by black talk show host Tavis Smiley. None of the top republican presidential candidates planned to attend. It seems like republicans want to have black votes, but aren't actually exerting any effort to get them. (TxSharon: We don't have time for your black ass but we'd appreciate your vote)
Locally, although not nearly as serious as The Little Rock Nine, The Jena-6, the black-face lawn ornament or even the republicans opting out of discussions about black issues is Mikal Watts' unveiling of his new website which features a link to his flickr account with the photo below:When there was a brief discussion about the photo last week among the Texas blogosphere, one of the bloggers printed out a screenshot and took it into a meeting he was conducting. By chance, it was made up of 21 black people--all factory workers.
The response was, "ok," when I just held it up and passed it around (a copy without the caption) and said, "I'm doing a little personal test. Tell me what you think of this picture." Then I told them who it was, as nobody knew.
Then the response was, "oh" and "oh, really?" and one, "interesting." Then I passed around one that showed them the caption, and the response ranged from "what an idiot to call us 'last'," to "yeah, blacks are ALWAYS last to politicians, tell me who that is again because I'm not voting for him."
Black voters often look for it [racism] when it's not [overtly] there. I was astounded by the results of my little "focus group," which ranged in age from about 29 to about 68.
Maybe that's East Texas black people, maybe it's not. Maybe it's factory workers, maybe it's union people...Maybe to the rest of us, we say "huh," but I believe that black voters--the not overly-political, average voters, who might know how/why politics is done, see something different than we do.
I feel like Watts really shows us how carelessly he expresses how he considers us minorities: "Meeting every last voter" - as if we stand out on the periphery of society where we lack wealth and education. Perhaps we're the last voters, because we're less likely to show up, and Mikal is making an "extra effort" to find us where we may lurk and extend us that handshake to pull us back into civilized voting society?
It's like you're showing off that you delved into our picnics and really got to know us. It almost reminds me of Steven Colbert's black friend, or when George Costanza realized he didn't have any black friends, and solicited his exterminator to dinner with him, just to show that he had at least one, except Mikal, this is far less funny.
If it's a serious effort to come out to understand us, it's appreciated. Attend a forum, really listen to what we have to say. Better yet, don't even realize that we're different, because we're really not. We have mothers and fathers that are looking to retire, sons and daughters planning for college. We pay taxes. We're actually a lot like you.
You and your staff might not have intended it to be taken this way, but such a fleeting carelessness, to those of us who may be less fortunate and "different from you", truly shows how you feel about us in your possible future constituency. If that's the case, count me out. I'm voting for Rick - he's one of us.
View the original flickr photo | Learn about Lieberman's parking job
From The Lone Star Times:
There were around 160 motorcycles, trikes and support vehicles that assembled at the football stadium in Texas City Saturday to honor Sgt. Omar Mora, who was killed in a vehicle accident in Baghdad on September 10, 2007. It was a cool, crisp morning with clear skies. The cool breeze did not last long.
The non-flag bikes led the way to the church, arriving at 9 am as planned. We set up flag lines in front of and to the south of the church, near the parking area. As always in Texas City, there was a large LEO presence, including two fire engines....
There were more media at this funeral than most I’ve been too, probably because of his participation in the Op-Ed in the NY Times and the possibility of protesters showing up. Since the Patriot Guard was formed, the protests are rare and when they do come, they are minimized by the overwhelming presence of men and women standing silently, blocking the family’s view of them. No protesters came....
During the funeral the non-flag bikes proceeded to Forest Park Cemetery to set up the flag line. After the funeral was complete, we led the way to the cemetery, following one of the fire engines and several LEO’s. We left the church and turned on 9th Ave, the main street through Texas City. We passed many businesses on the way and hundreds of people lined the streets to honor Sgt. Mora’s sacrifice.
We then proceeded up I-45 and once again, cars were pulled over on the opposite side of the freeway and the occupants standing outside their vehicles in honor. Every overpass was filled with people silently holding flags or signs in support of Sgt. Mora.
...Regardless of your politics or your position on our occupation of Iraq, when one of our soldiers dies in the line of duty, we should honor them. The Patriot Guard always obtains the permission of the families, we never just show up. As Johnny D says, we are not the focus of the day; we are simply there to honor the soldier.
Texas Rep. Rick Noriega (D) and his wife Melissa released a tribute to Sgt. Mora that included these words:
The rising number of casualties strike a chord in even the most hardened among us, and the loss felt as each soldier passes does not diminish. Omar and his brothers in uniform will be missed, and must be remembered.
Voicing one’s opinion, especially from a soldier, is very difficult when ‘management’ is wrong. Omar, and his fellow soldiers had a better understanding of the cultural matrix in Iraq than what gets reported by the media, he had walked the walk. He spoke from experience when they said “we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear.”
There is another manifestation of bravery that for those in uniform is a matter of course, but takes on special meaning among civilians who do not have to follow a chain of command … the courage to listen. It’s time our political leaders listen to the insights of Sergeant Mora, his fellow soldiers, and the reality in Iraq reported by every objective analysis from the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group to the recent GAO reports.
There are those that were angry that Sgt. Mora dared to speak out against the occupation. They miss the point. If anyone should have a voice, not the only voice but a loud voice, it should be the men and women that we, as a country, put in harm’s way. Having an opinion contrary to the policy that sent them to a foreign land doesn’t mean that they are less worthy or unpatriotic. If anyone thinks that the men and women that had the courage to put their names on this Op-Ed were not and are not true to their mission, here is the last line of that piece.
“We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.”
And see it through he did. Thank you, Sgt. Omar Mora, for your service and your sacrifice.Read The Full Post
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In our not-so-scientific poll of 36 readers of NoriegaBlog, fully 66% (24) of them would not even consider endorsing a candidate that was pro-life. Of the remaining 12 voters, six said it depends on who the candidate was, and the other six didn't care either way. Knowing that Cornyn and Watts staff regularly check this blog, that's not so surprising, but I digress...
Of course the results of this poll could be an unwelcome wake up call to Mikal Watts who recently told Democracy for Texas in a questionnaire, "my position is that I’m opposed to abortion except in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk," which is almost the exact phrasing of Bush, McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Cornyn and Abbott, among others.
State Rep. Rick Noriega, Candidate for United States Senate, is coming to the University of North Texas on Tuesday, September 25 in an event co-hosted by The College Democrats and UNT LULAC council #4789. The event will start at 7:00 in the Lyceum with a presentation on the Dream Act, a bill that State Rep. Noriega wrote while he was in the the Texas House.
At 8:00, Noriega will begin his speech, informing campus students as to why he should be the next senator from the state of Texas. A Question and Answer session will follow, so you can find out his position on almost any issue.
This will be a hot race next fall, so use this opportunity to learn about the candidate so you can have an informed voice when you vote.
*LULAC is a non-partisan organization that has not endorsed any candidate for political office
President of the College Democrats of North Texas
Monday, September 24, 2007
"Now with this new dimension in American politics, netroots, it allows for regular folks like myself, who have devoted their lives to public service to step forward and offer themselves up for higher office.
"No longer do you have to be a celebrity or a self-financed millionaire to offer yourself up for higher office.
"The netroots in large part has leveled the playing field."
"The netroots component is going to be a critical piece of us defeating John Cornyn and getting the state and nation back on track after this administration has so misled us."
Democracy for America poll last week was completely and unquestionably pwned by Rick Noriega.
This week, democrats from across Texas joined the members of Democracy for Texas in their first endorsement poll in the organization's history.
Here's an email from Democracy for Texas:
Subject line: And the DFT endorsement goes to….
You have spoken loud and clear. With overwhelming support from all over the State, Rick Noriega is the stand-out choice of the grassroots to face John Cornyn in the race for the U.S. Senate. The final results are:
All Voters DFT Members Before Poll
Noriega 78.4% 86.2%
Watts 21.6 13.8
Total votes cast: 1,931 *
We're excited that our first endorsement is for such a terrific candidate, one who drew comments such as these:
"I am extremely impressed with Rick Noriega's clarity of thought and purpose as well as his passion and organization."
"Rick is the right man at the right time."
"Rick Noriega is the candidate supported by grassroots Texans all across our State because he is the candidate who has the integrity to represent all Texans…"
"…Rick is tough enough to stand toe to toe with any Republican…"
"Rick Noriega has "walked the walk" and has a progressive voting record to show for it!"
Over the coming months, we'll give you ideas of how you can help Rick in his campaign. Right now, the best way you can help is to sign up on his website and make a contribution before the end of the quarter on September 30.
Join the Noriega for Senate campaign here.
Make a donation here.
We appreciate the thoughtful answers of both candidates to our questionnaire. And many thanks to all of you who took the time to read their answers and vote, especially those who made a contribution to help us defray the cost of the poll.
We look forward to an exciting primary season and to sending John Cornyn home in November!
Your DFT Steering Committee –
Erik Azulay, Glen Maxey, Mark McCulloch, Karl-Thomas Musselman, and Fran Vincent
P.S. Marla Camp, one of the founders of Democracy for Texas, is on sabbatical from the Steering Committee while she focuses on her successful new magazine, Edible Austin. Marla will continue to be involved in DFT, and we look forward to having her back in a leadership position as soon as possible.
* In order to address concerns expressed by some participants about the elimination of questionable votes, we have counted all (including those in question) votes except those that were clearly duplicates, those cast after the deadline, and a handful from out of state.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Formal results won't be released until Monday (here), but with the trends that have been released, NoriegaBlog is confident in calling this poll for Rick Noriega, who has had a significant lead over Mikal Watts since the polling began. Here are the official tallies (percents only, to avoid ballot stuffing).
Wednesday Noon Update:
Rick Noriega- 78%
Mikal Watts- 22%
Thursday Noon Update:
Rick Noriega- 82%
Mikal Watts- 18%
Friday Noon Update:
Rick Noriega- 74%
Mikal Watts- 26%
Saturday Noon Update:
Rick Noriega- 77%
Mikal Watts- 23%
We'll wait for the official word Monday! Thanks Democracy for Texas!