Friday, August 31, 2007

Rick Needs YOU!

Many of Lt. Col. Rick Noriega's supporters have asked how they can show the overwhelming support for his nomination to be our Democratic candidate against Texas' Junior Senator John Cornyn.

Today, grassroots activists across Texas are launching a petition to put Rick on the March 2008 Democratic Primary Ballot. The election code gives candidates the option of obtaining signatures or paying $5,000 to qualify a candidate for the ballot. Many candidates opt to just pay the fee because it's the "easy" way to go.

Rick Noriega is building a grassroots campaign, and here's our chance to show the strength of the Noriega grassroots. Texas requires a candidate to obtain 5,000 signatures. We want to blow that number away, so we've set an ambitious goal: 25,000 signatures!

Ballot Petition (pdf)
Petition to get Rick's name on the primary election ballot. Please print one up and get your friends and family to sign! If you're really ambitious, take a few to a local concert, festival, or event! Check for ID's and make sure all required information is filled out. Please use legal size paper when printing them! Mail in completed sheets as you get them done to the address on the bottom of the form.

Craig Resigns?

Just heard on NPR that said disgraced Republican Idaho Senator Larry Craig has called a press conference for tomorrow probably in Boise. At least one credible source says Craig plans to resign, amid calls from colleagues on both sides of the isle... More to come I'm sure!

UPDATE: I wrote that posting from my iPhone while driving down the highway... Here's the scoop from NPR:

Embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig will announce Saturday what he plans to do in the wake of a chorus of calls from fellow Republicans to step down from the post he has held for 16 years. He has faced increasing pressure to resign in the wake of the news that he was caught in June in an undercover vice operation at the Minneapolis airport.

This Just In: White House Spokesman Tony Snow Steps Down!

Announced just moments ago on Reuters, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will be stepping down in two weeks. Snow, who has been battling colon cancer, will be replaced by his Deputy Press Secretary, Dana Perino.

Snow is only the latest in a string of Bush Administration officials stepping down: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this Monday, and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's last day was Friday.

"I'm going to try to turn cancer into a chronic disease rather than a fatal disease," said Snow on Reuters, but monsters and critics claims it was for financial reasons: 'We took out a loan when I came to the White House and that loan's now gone,' Snow said. 'Cancer has nothing to do with this decision.'

Several other top White House advisers have left since Democrats won control of Congress in November, including counselor Dan Bartlett, chief White House attorney Harriet Miers, budget chief Rob Portman, political director Sara Taylor, deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, a deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq according to Bloomberg.

It's slightly reminiscent of the end of 2004 when A slew of Bush Administration officials (Ashcroft, Powell, Sec. Commerce Evans, Ag Secy. Abraham, Ed Secy Paige, and Tom Ridge) all announced resignation.

I Love NoriegaBlog Readers!

Thanks for reading guys! Here's a little breakdown.. Of the last 200 visitors, here's the top 6 places yall are from, starting with the most:

1. New York-11<--Sent a link to the NYTimes, and my company servers are located there...
2. Austin, Texas-8 <-- Tx Legislators, Thanks for reading!
3. San Antonio, Texas-7 <--Watts Campaign?
4. Washington, District of Columbia-7<-- Cornyn Staffers?
5. Houston, Texas-4<--Rick Constituents, Houston Bloggers...etc.
6. Bethesda, Maryland-2<--Isn't the CIA HQ over there or something?

This Week's "Cornyn as Bush's Mouthpiece" Quote..

On the issue of who sounds most like George W. Bush when it comes to Alberto Gonzales... The Award goes to...

Drum roll please... Junior Texas Senator John Cornyn

Here's this week's game... Can you guess who said what? Grab a piece of paper and let's play.. write down 'B' for Bush, and 'C' for Cornyn.

1. "Alberto a decent and honorable man"
2. "Al Gonzales is a man of...decency and principle"

3. "has played a role in shaping our policies in the war on terror"
4. "has served his country at a difficult time when we are engaged in a global war on terror

5. "After months of unfair treatment..."
6. "worn down by the criticism"

7. "the ferocity of relentless partisan attacks..."
8. "...was dragged through the mud for political reasons."

9. "I think it’s a sad day"
10. "It's sad that we live..."


Rick Noriega is a HIT in Tarrant County

In one of his first appearances, a group of about 50 welcomed Rick Noriega to Dallas, where he grabbed even more endorsements: Tarrant County State Representatives Lon Burnam, Paula Hightower Pierson and Marc Veasey before heading up to North Dallas for event at the home of Lenna Webb and Bob Franklin.

This comes on the heels of a week of powerful endorsements from Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, and the Texas State Association of Firefighters. An endorsment from Daily Kos appears to be forthcoming next week.

Rick speaks with two decades of military experience under his belt:
"I just got back from two weeks of training at Fort Benning, and when you look at these 18- and 19-year-old kids who will do anything their country asks them to do, you realize they deserve better. They need leadership that is willing to be held accountable."

"Are we as Texans ready to take a step forward? Our state is off track and if we are going to set things right, we must be ready for the campaign of misinformation that John Cornyn and the Republicans are ready to unleash. They'll use this to divide us so they can maintain power. We have to reject that, but it will be a tough fight."

Read the full post from Steve-O at Caravan of Dreams.

2008 will be a great election for Democrats in the Senate.

(I love it when Howie smiles..)

"2008 will be a great election for Democrats in the Senate." That's according to The New Republic: "In Texas, Republican incumbent John Cornyn is unpopular, and state representative and Lt. Col. Rick Noriega could pose problems for him."

That follows suit with the MSNBC: "Senate prospects seem brighter for Democrats: Craig incident adds to GOP woes with 22 seats to defend in now looks possible that in next year’s elections the Democrats just might attain the 60 seats they need to foil Republican filibusters. "

Over at Booman, they're adding up the Democratic seats, and agree that we may be able to pull a fillabuster-proof majority in the Senate in 08, "I haven't even mentioned the most unpopular senator of all...John Cornyn of Texas. He is facing two formidable candidates in attorney Mikal Watts and State Senator (sic) Rick Noriega. This race is insurance on that 62 mark."

Kos has another article considering Texas a contestable race, raking us a "2nd-Tier" race, meaning that we're not quite a shoo-in by any means. That just means we need to work harder!

Skulnik over at kos also agrees, ranking the Texas race as #8 of 34 most likely seats to change party affiliation, placing our race in the top quarter.

If I recall in "mainstream journalism", three sources makes a credible story, and all of these guys seem to agree that the Texas race will play a major role in the direction our Senate will be headed. It's amazing that all over the Internets, Rick Noriega is getting noticed, kicking ass and taking names!

UPDATE: CBS News jumps on the bandwagon, "It is very likely that Republicans will pick up no more than one seat, while Democrats may pick up as many as seven seats."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What It With Republicans and Weird Sex?

"What It With Republicans and Weird Sex?"
- Jay Leno

Cornyn... Mmm Mmm Good?

Maybe Cornyn wants to make sure those folks down in Louisiana are having quality non-perishables, because a day after the two year anniversary of Katrina, John Cornyn tours the Campbells Soup Factory in Paris, Texas. It's the least he could do after voting against New Orleans neighbors ten times.

"Campbell Soup Company does more than just produce a delicious chicken noodle or cream of mushroom. Campbell's is making a positive difference for the local economy in Paris and the surrounding community."

Good job John. Drink it up, don't strain yourself on lifting that soup spoon, if that's the most work we can expect out of you!

GAO Says Iraq Falls Short on Benchmarks

A forthcoming report says that, contrary to Junior Senator John Cornyn's statements last Sunday on This Week, a Government Accountability Office (we still have accountability in government?) found that the troop surge is not working. Iraq has only met three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for progress, and that the President's troop surge plan, supported by Cornyn, is not effective.

Here's Cornyn making sure that we don't push the Iraqis too hard: "But I don't think it's in our best interest to put so much pressure on the new Iraqi government that it absolutely collapses."

Instead, we are putting absolutely no pressure, while spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives to do what?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

“It is clear that every objective expert keeps providing the American public with the same facts: that the president’s flawed Iraq strategy is failing to deliver what it needs to — a political solution for Iraq. The forthcoming GAO report offers a clear assessment that a new direction in Iraq must begin immediately, before more American lives are lost and more taxpayer dollars wasted."

Meet Rick... TONIGHT in Dallas!

Rick Noriega will be in Dallas tonight for an meet and greet:

6:00-8:00 PM

Home of Lenna Webb and Bob Franklin
17201 Hidden Glen Drive
Dallas, TX 75248

View Larger Map

Contact Deputy Campaign Manager for Details
at (512) 771-6266 or

Campaign contributions will be accepted and appreciated.
Please come out and meet the next Senator from the State of Texas.

(h/t to The Caravan of Dreams)

Have You Had Enough?

Here's a lovely song that came out...

And here's it adapted for Joe Lieberman:

Republican Backed Border Wall May Cut Off Two US College Campuses

According to the Valley Newsline, a Republican-backed wall might only slow down illegal immigrants by as much as five minutes, but would cut off two American college campuses from the mainland. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff seems quite determined to build the wall, and intends on building as soon as this fall. As the Federal Government already owns some land easements in the border region, the Feds would have built on currently owned Federally owned property, cutting off two American college campuses, and the local Mexican Colsulate.

Dr. Antonio N. Zavaleta, Dean of UTBTSC about being seperated by the wall:

"It's inconcievable. I just can't believe that a campus of an American University would be cut off and would be placed on the Mexican side of this wall or this barrier which is intended to be a limitation whether it is good or bad. What that means is they better start working on a budget to have border guards placed at the wall with a gate every single day because over 1,000 people a day come to campus."
Zavaleta proposes that the levee be moved to the south side of the campus to provide more protection to downtown Brownsville, and provide dams to be able to control floods. "It seems to make a lot more sense to invest in infrastructure that protects the communites than building barriers," says Zavaleta.

UPDATE: Cornyn says he is not for the wall, using a lot of prepositions - almost a Green Eggs and Hammy kinda approach. Dr. Seuss would be proud! "No one is suggesting that we're willing to have a 2,000-mile wall placed on our southern border. For one thing, people can come over walls, they can come under walls and they can come through walls if they're not maintained, " said U.S. Sen. Cornyn in a statement according to KFOX.

This is in stark contrast to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who prefers to c0mpare immigration to The Cat in the Hat. From Wikipedia:
In the 110th Congres Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared the impasse over a bill to reform immigration with the mess created by the Cat in "The Cat in the Hat." He read lines of the book from the Senate floor, quoting "'That is good,' said the fish. 'He's gone away, yes. But your mother will come. She will find this big mess.'"[5] He then carried forward his analogy hoping the impasse would be straightened out for "If you go back and read Dr. Seuss, the cat manages to clean up the mess."[6] Reid's hopes did not come about for as one analyst put it "the Cat in the Hat did not have to contend with cloture."[5]

John Cornyn Endorses Rick Noriega?

No. Not quite, but check out this quote from Cornyn on Monday, while feeling up a medical dummy (a mannequin used for training, not a dig at Cornyn's SCHIP vote, but we'll save that one for later.) So... the quote, from the Herald Democrat:

“At Washington DC, people seem to think the rest of the world is waiting on them to think of good ideas and solutions to problems and the fact of the matter is, it’s just the opposite,” Cornyn said. “Most good ideas and initiatives and solutions take place on the local level by people stepping up and doing what they need to do."

I couldn't have said it better John. It sounds like a plan to me! It's almost exactly like you say, John. "local...people setpping up," like two years ago when Rick took command after Hurricane Katrina, while you sat in Washington and voted against supporting our neighbors time and again? Let's get some good guys with some fresh ideas and solutions to our problems like Rick Noriega, and get rid of your stale, idealess hiney. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cornyn Questions Gonzales' Credentials

Cornyn in an interview with The Austin American Statesman (8/20/07):

I look at the jobs he's held and I wonder what has prepared him for being the head of the Department of Justice and 110,000 employees in a highly partisan and difficult political environment.

When we were talking on the phone, I said, "Al, if you do nothing else, make sure that all of the information gets out there early and as complete a fashion as possible."

Gonzales not taking Cornyn's advice:

And from The New York Times Monday, Cornyn sticking with Gonzales until the end.

Senator John Cornyn, one of the attorney general's staunchest supporters, called today a "sad day." In a telephone interview with CNN a short while ago, the Texas Republican took issue with how Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, was "exalting" in Mr. Gonzales' resignation, calling it part of the "hyperpartisan" atmosphere in Washington today. Mr. Cornyn insisted there was no evidence of political machinations behind the firings of federal prosecutors, and said it was the "drip, drip, drip" of partisan politics that wore Mr.Gonzales down.

More from Kos.

The Lovely Mrs. Melissa Noriega Appears at Houston's 171st Birthday Party

Melissa Noriega (pictured here with Texas State Senator Mario Gallegos) attended Houston's 171st Birthday Party at the George R. Brown Convention Center last night. Although she was unable to attend the Harris County Young Democrats meeting, she was still able to win the endorsement of the organization.

Mayor Bill White and Former mayor Bob Lanier were in attendance, as well as many of our local representatives. James Rodriguez (candidate for City Council District I), and wife Wendy Montoya also made an appearance after stopping by the Young Dems Meeting. Astros Star Jeff Bagwell there, and ABC-13's Shara Fryer served as Mistress of ceremonies.

(h/t to The Insite)

So Who All Reads This Blog Anyways??

Well, I was going over my lovely little SiteMeter account today, and saw these:
(Don't worry, I'm not "warrantless wiretapping" you or anything I don't even know who you are, just where you read the blog from..!)

Thanks to all my lovely readers! - US Senate!
- US House of Representatives - A little "spacey" but I'll take it..! - Texas State Capitol, and several of them - Houston City Hall members
(see Melissa Noriega READS THIS BLOG!) - Students? Educators? - The Ivy League! - More friends from the Northeast - The freakin New York Times! - Portugese readers! - Belgian readers!
Also From the UK and Canada,

We've also logged readers from AR, CT, DC, GA, HI, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, UT, TN, TX, VA, VT. We've even had quite a few from San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Thanks for reading Mr. Watts! ::waves::

"I Am Not Gay" Craig May Spell Fillibuster-Proof Senate after 2008

The wavering of the "I am not gay" Larry Craig Idaho seat adds to the 22 Republican seats that must be defend in the 2008 Election Cycle. Democrats now hold 51 seats, including Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont and "Connecticut For Lieberman" Party Member Joe Lieberman. Of the 22 Republican seats to be upheld, six of them seem to be "in jeopardy," bringing the total possible Democratic seat count to 57 or 58 seats.

Booman: do we get 4-5 more senate seats?First...let me say that we are not there yet. We still need to do a little more recruitment.

Nebraska... Oklahoma...Kentucky...Idaho

I haven't even mentioned the most unpopular senator of all...John Cornyn of Texas. He is facing two formidable candidates in attorney Mikal Watts and State Senator Rick Noriega. This race is insurance on that 62 mark.

The financial momentum also is with the Democrats.
As of the end of June, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which finds and funds Senate contenders had:
More than $31 million in receipts
More than $20 million in cash on hand

By contrast, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had only:
$15.8 million in receipts
$5.7 in cash on hand

Friends, 2008 is our year.

Junior Senator John Cornyn FAILS on Katrina Policy

Hurricane Katrina left 1,800 dead in five states two years ago today, and the rebuilding both emotionally and structurally has been trudging along ever since. A lot of people still ask why it's taking so long, why there's still FEMA trailers in people's yards, and where the money all went. On this second anniversary of this horrible incident, it's time to take a look into this issue.
Photos from ABC News.

We all know that Rick Noriega stepped up and led the Katrina Task Force at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Let's take a look at how our Junior Senator, John Cornyn has helped: He's voted against aid for Hurricane Katrina victims 10 times!
(h/t to StopCornyn)


Against Tax Benefits for Hurricane Areas
On Nov. 17, 2005, the Senate REJECTED (44-55) the Conrad amendment (#2,602) to S 2020, which provided tax benefits for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. (Roll Call 330, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against Ind. Commission to Examine Katrina Response
On Sep. 14, 2005, the Senate FAILED (44-54) to suspend the rules and establish a commission to examine the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. (Roll Call 229, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against Exmaning Hurricane Repsonse in 2006
On Feb. 2, 2006, the Senate FAILED (44-53) to waive points of order on the Clinton amendment (#2,716) to HR 4297, which established a congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Region of the United States especially in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and other areas impacted in the aftermath and make immediate corrective measures to improve such responses in the future. (Roll Call 6, 2006)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against Financial Relief for Katrina Victims
On Sep. 15, 2005, the Senate FAILED (43-52) to suspend the rules on the Lieberman amendment (#1,678) to HR 2862, which provided financial relief for individuals and entities affected by Hurricane Katrina. (Roll Call 234, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against $2.1 Billion for Katrina-COPS
On Sep. 13, 2005, the Senate REJECTED (41-56) the Biden amendment (41-56) to HR 2862, which provided $2.1 billion to COPS programs in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. (Roll Call 226, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against Vouchers for Katrina Victims
On Nov. 3, 2005, the Senate FAILED (31-68) to waive points of order on the Ensign amendment (#2,404) to S 1932, which provided assistance for elementary and secondary schools and students, and institutions of higher education, affected by Hurricane Katrina. (Roll Call 284, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY
Against Building Better Levees
On May 15, 2007, the Senate FAILED (51-42) to pass the Kerry amendment (#1,094) to HR 1495, which required federal engineers to weigh climate change in planning water projects. (Roll Call 166, 2007)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against Investigating Iraq, Katrina Profiteering
On Oct. 19, 2005, the Senate FAILED (44-54) to suspend the rules on the Dorgan amendment (#2,078) to HR 3058, which established a committee to investigate Iraq and Katrina contracts. (Roll Call 259, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Against $20 Million for Katrina Volunteers
On May 4, 2006, the Senate REJECTED (39-59) the Thune amendment (#3,704) to HR 4939, which provided $20 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs for Medical Facilities. (Roll Call 111, 2006)

Thune would offset the increase by eliminating funds for AmeriCorps to support Katrina relief volunteers, calling the agency “mismanaged” and noting it has already received almost $900 million this fiscal year. Cochran led the opposition, arguing the AmeriCorps volunteers in his state of Mississippi have helped to clothe, feed and house more than 1 million people. (National Journal’s CongressDaily, May 4, 2006)
John Cornyn: AYE

Against Tax Benefits for Hurricane Areas
On Nov. 17, 2005, the Senate REJECTED (44-55) the Conrad amendment (#2,602) to S 2020, which provided tax benefits for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. (Roll Call 330, 2005)
John Cornyn: NAY

Republicans Cross Party Lines to Join Rick Noriega

Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced the formation of a Hispanic Steering Committee, according to Texas Politics. It included key Republican and Hispanic figures, six of them from Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio.

One of the members, former Republican National Hispanic Assembly Chairman Massey Villarreal "caused a stir" by announcing he will not support U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for re-election.

A native of Corpus Christi, Villarreal is one of the top Hispanic Republicans in the country. Bush referred to him as his "friend y Tejano" in a speech in March. Named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine in 2002, Villarreal served as national Hispanic vice-chairman of the Bush/Cheney for President Campaign. Villarreal served as chairman of the board of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly for four terms.

Villarreal told the Rio Grande Guardian that Cornyn's positions on immigration harmed the Hispanic community and that he would support Democrat Rick Noriega for Senate.

From The Rio Grande Guardian, Villarreal speaks about Republican talking points:

“We are law abiding, we love this country, but if some of the Republican bigots had their way, they would make sure my father went back. They have no compassion. My Dad would be headed back and that’s just wrong.”

“I would like to see Congressman Culberson take a job on a landscaping truck to see what immigrants do for our community,” Villarreal said, referring to U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston.

There are those rightwing Republicans who don’t represent our interest, don’t represent our vision,” he said. “I’m sorry their constituents elect them because they don’t represent the interests of the whole community.”

I have decided to support Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate as a Democrat. I just don’t think John Cornyn hears my community,” Villarreal said.

So it appears that even with Cornyn's dismal approval ratings, he's even losing support from Republicans. See Texas Much More PURPLE Than Most People Expect...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Texas Much More PURPLE Than Most People Expect...

From a Texas Lyceum Poll conducted June 13, 2007, an "overwhelming majority" of Texans believe that the War in Iraq is the most important issue facing our country.

“Nationally, the Iraq War dominates all other issues; nothing else comes close. As for issues facing the state, Texans are most concerned about education and illegal immigration,” said Daron Shaw, a pollster and associate professor at the University of Texas who conducted the poll for the Texas Lyceum, a non-partisan non-profit statewide leadership group focused on public policy affecting Texas and the United States.

It also found that Texans favor funding of embryonic stem cell research, and believe that abortion should be allowed in some cases. We even prefer a nondenominational moment of silence as opposed to prayer in public schools.

“Skepticism about the progress of the U.S. venture in Iraq and the evidence of moderation on many key issues suggests that Texas is becoming a much more “purple” state that it has been in recent elections,” said Professor Jim Henson, Director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas. "The poll’s results are clearly another shot across the bow of incumbents in all institutions at all levels,“ said Henson.
So as it turns out, we might be just a little more purple than we used to be, that we won't just follow along with what Bush says, and that we might be wising up on a few issues. Good job Texas!
A USA Today Article based on the same poll shows McCain essentially tied with Clinton with McCain at 36% and Clinton at 35%. Giuliani and Clinton also are essentially tied, at 32%-31%.
So Texas, the 2008 Swing State? We'll have to wait and see on that one.

This Day in History... Lieberman preempts Bush comparisons

Ok, so it wasn't exactly a year ago, but sometime near it, Joe Lieberman was already preempting Bush's comparison of Iraq to Vietnam.

Harris County Young Democrats Endorse Melissa Noriega for City Council, At-Large 3

After a bit of a rocky start to tonight's Harris County Young Democrats Meeting, Melissa Noriega once again received the endorsement of the organization. Here's how the rest of the races broke down from the Screening Committee:

District D:
Wanda Adams - Endorsement with GOTV
Lawrence Allen - Qualified
Michael P. Williams - Qualified

District E: Manisha Mehta - Qualified

District I:
John Marron - Qualified
James Rodriguez - Qualified

At-Large 5:
Zaf Tahir - Endorsement
Jolanda Jones - Qualified
Marlon Barabin - Principled

HISD School Board District 4:
Paula Harris - Endorsement

The following were unopposed City Council Races. All were Endorsed:
District B: Jarvis Johnson
District H: Adrian Garcia
At-Large 1: Peter Brown
At-Large 2: Sue Lovell
At-Large 3: Melissa Noriega
At-Large 4: Ron Green

Video Highlights from Monday Press Conference Endorsing Rick Noriega

Video from the Monday Press Conference endorsing Rick

From Rick:

"On Monday, I was humbled to receive the endorsement of two Texas Democratic icons: Governor Dolph Briscoe and Lt. Governor Bill Hobby. At a special endorsement event, Governor Hobby joined Senator Rodney Ellis, Senator John
Whitmire, the Dean of the Texas Senate, and my own State Senator, Mario Gallegos to discuss the upcoming race. I invite you to watch video from the event below, as this was a reminder to all of us that Texas stands greatest when we look to the future, bring people together, and hold our government accountable."

Poll Taxes? Literacy Test? Nope, just HCYD signature forms!

I'm liveblogging in the middle of voting with the HCYD endorsement meeting. I have plenty of time to blog, because i was, along with about a dozen other members were held up waiting for our memberships to be verified, including several candidates themselves.

James Rodriguez's campaign would have been allowed to have a proxy vote, but his membership was unverifiable as his membership dated from 1999. HCYD President Max Cardenas III said that was another organization. The current HCYD was chartered in 2001. A representative from the Rodriguez campaign said she would have appreciated some notification as to what was required to be able to vote. The same held true for Jolanda Jones and her campaign--unable to vote. When asked how he felt, Nick H. (red cap pictured) said he was, "livid." Save the hate for the Republicans, Nick!

Heated discussion ensued, and after a half hour of debate, only 18 voting memberships were confirmed, meaning the 12 of us who were denied voting rights may very well have easily had the ability to sway the endorsement proceedings. Cardenas declined postponing the vote, and the vote whether to accept the recommendations of the Steering Committee were passed with little discussion.

The membership forms were verified by the highly secure method of... Three ring binder.

Stay tuned for more.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Texas Democratic icons endorse Rick Noriega’s exploratory bid for US Senate

Texas Democratic icons — Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Governor Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis — endorse Rick Noriega’s exploratory bid for US Senate

(Houston, TX) — Texas Democratic icons Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, who briefly served as Lt. Governor as well, today joined Houston’s Paul Hobby in endorsing Rick Noriega as the next United States Senator from Texas.

Standing together at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where Noriega served as Incident Commander when the facility was turned into a shelter and emergency support network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, these icons that represent over three decades of Texas leadership called for a restoration of forward looking leadership that responds to the needs of the people.

“What we have here today is more than a list of endorsements,” Noriega declared. "It is a history lesson that teaches us that Texas stands at its greatest when we plan for the future, bring people together, and hold our government accountable.”

Under the weather with a fever, Governor Dolph Briscoe, who occupied the Governor’s Mansion from 1973 – 1979, sent a written statement that paid tribute to Noriega’s service in the military and humanitarian leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “These times call for a leader like Rick Noriega, a leader with character, a leader who understands Texans are not afraid of the future, and we’re not followers.”

State Senator Rodney Ellis recalled how Noriega has lived out the warrior’s ethos — leave no man behind — from the battlefield to the legislature and in the community. “In the legislature, Rick fought to all Texas children had health insurance. And here in this very building, the George R. Brown Convention Center, he proved that compassion is not a weakness, but part of the very fabric of who we are as Texans,” Ellis explained. “That’s the type of leadership we need in the United States Senate.”

Lt. Governor Bill Hobby, who served Texas from 1973 to 1991, spoke directly to Noriega’s appeal statewide, “It’s time for a US Senator who can bring Texans together,” Governor Hobby declared. “Rick Noriega earns respect for the strength of his convictions, for rejecting the politics of personal destruction, and for his courage to speak to a higher calling in all of us, “Hobby added.

Noriega openly questioned whether John Cornyn’s voting record reflects the values of ordinary Texans, noting that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) rated Cornyn 85th out of 100 Senators in support for veterans and their families.

“The standard for leadership and service has been set by the gentlemen behind me; not by the man who occupies one of Texas’ two US Senate seats,” Noriega concluded.

Noriega promised that as his exploratory campaign continues to gain momentum, “Texans will get a chance to see the many faces and many perspectives that our campaign represents.”

BREAKING NEWS! Statements from John Cornyn and Rick Noriega on Alberto Gonzales

"Alberto Gonzales, the highest ranking Hispanic to serve in a President's Administration, is a decent and honorable man...His resignation marks another casualty of the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington that does not serve the best interests of the American People"
John Cornyn

"It's about time. Our country's interest should come first. This appears to be a political decision. Hopefully this can put an end to the politicization of the Justice Department."
Rick Noriega

Gonzo is... well... Gonzo..!

After Rove's announcement a couple weeks ago, Atty. Gen Alberto Gonzales is expected to turn in his notice later today. He's stood up for warrantless wiretaps, Abu-Grab, Guantanamo Camps, and most recently, was tied into the firing of eight US Attorneys for political reasons (Gonzales says due to performance issues). He may be one of the last remaining Texan advisors Bush has brought to Washington with him. Stay tuned, more to come.

Weekend News Roundup

And boy, what a weekend it was..!

Getting back from National Guard Training Thursday to an additional $25K worth of support from you guys, his press release came Friday from the Campaign, and covered at kos:

Over Three Decades of Texas Leadership Come Together in Support of Rick Noriega’s U.S. Senate Exploratory Bid

(Houston, TX) — U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega will announce his support from current and former Texas leaders spanning more than three decades. Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, who briefly served as Lt. Governor, will join Houston’s Paul Hobby in calling for Rick Noriega’s leadership in the United States Senate.

Rick went to a meeting of the SDEC (State Democratic Executive Committee) in Austin on Saturday to the same amazing reception he's received at ActBlue (thanks to you of course). Here's how he was received, from Hal at Half Empty:

Each candidate stood up as they were introduced. Mikal Watts and Emil Reichstadt each got what my source called “polite applause”. But when Rick Noriega was introduced the applause, shouts, foot stomps and hoots nearly blew the roof off. Sue Schechter, Noriega’s campaign manager was visiting with my source minutes later, and my source tells me that [campaign manager] Sue was almost speechless with surprise.

What became clear at that moment, and it should be no surprise but it was, was that Rick Noriega is the frontrunner Democratic candidate, not the disadvantaged progressive grassroots underdog as he is being painted. Rick Noriega is not just the people’s choice for the Democratic nominee to take on John Cornyn in November.

He is the choice of a broad spectrum of Democrats from Lefty to Centrist.

Rick Noriega: Frontrunner.

Sunday, Virginia Freshman Senator, Vietnam Veteran, and Armed Services Committee member Jim Webb squared off against our own Junior Senator John Cornyn. Webb was articulate with his facts and figures, while Cornyn recited talking points from his constituent: President Bush. PS. I couldn't stop thinking about how Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream used a play within a play? Well Cornyn was joining from Austin (appearantly not on an HD enabled camera), and was a talkinghead within a talkinghead. Good job Corny. Anyways, On This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

"Senator Warner is a great patriot and a student of history, and he's clearly sending a signal to the Iraqis that our patience is not unlimited, and that's correct," said Cornyn, a fellow member of Senate Armed Services Committee. "But I don't think it's in our best interest to put so much pressure on the new Iraqi government that it absolutely collapses."

"We don't want to allow that to happen, because it would make us less safe here at home," he said.

From Todd Hill at BOR:

Not in our best interests to put pressure on the Iraqi government? They are in RECESS for the month of August while our brave men and women in uniform slog through 120 degree heat in desert terrain. They are doing it because men like Cornyn rubberstamped a neocon debacle of the first order out of Party loyalty and not American national security interests. His rubberstamp has made our country more vulnerable and less safe in a post 9/11 world.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cornyn refuses Bush for Campaign Appearances

According to The Carpetbagger Report, Texas Junior Senator John Cornyn was answering questions this week, when someone sprung one on whether he would be making campaign appearances with G.W. Of course, one of Lieberman's downfalls was his continual appearances with Bush (only in photography and memory, but still harmed him either way), but I digress.

The Austin American Statesman asked Cornyn, “Will you ask the president to appear with you on the campaign trail?” the paper asked.

Cornyn answered, “I will probably ask the president to help me do some fundraising, but probably not on the campaign trail, we’ve talked about his poll numbers.”

Apparently, Cornyn has not noticed his own dismal approval ratings. Although higher than Bush's 30-to-60 approval to disapproval rate, Cornyn's rating is still...well, not the greatest.

Cornyn himself has not had above a 50% approval rating since 2005, and according to SurveyUSA, currently stands at about a 42% Approval/43% Disapproval rate. Hutchison, on the other hand, stands at a 58% Approval/ 34% Disapproval rate. Cornyn places in the bottom 10% of all Senators by approval rating (in 2005), placing him with the likes of Conrad Burns, Jon Corzine, and Rick Santorum, none of whom are currently serving.

Apparently John McCain isn't the only one who has had enough of John Cornyn," DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said. "This poll shows Texans look at John Cornyn like the neighbor who shows up uninvited at a backyard BBQ. No one invited him, they don't know why he's there, and they can't wait for him to leave."


We asked, and you delivered. In less than 36 hours, we raised over $5,000 for change in Washington. $4,000 was raised in the last 10 hours alone. You guys are simply amazing.

From the Campaign:

The support our campaign has received during the past two weeks has been amazing. I can't wait to see Rick tomorrow and tell him that we shattered not one, but two fundraising goals in just eleven days!

Now let's get Rick in office!

Texas hits 30, and 400.

On Wednesday of this his week, Texas hit two historical milestones.

They're both records: 30, and 400.

Can you guess what those numbers mean?

For the Texas Rangers, they're the first team since 1898 to score 30 runs in a game. Thats 110 years worth of record there.

"This is something freaky. You won't see anything like this again for a long, long time. I am glad I was on this end of it," said Marlon Byrd, who hit one of two Texas grand slams.

Now what about the 400?

That would be the 400th execution in Texas since 1982, when it resumed the death penalty. About 25 years of record. Johnny Conner was pronounced dead at 6:20 pm, eight minutes after he was injected with the lethal concoction in Huntsville this Wednesday. (Coverage from the Brisbane Times in Australia)

Texas has logged 58% of the judicial killings this year
, far exceeding all other states combined. Of the other states, 12 refused to restore capital punishment in 1976; four did but have not executed anyone; and 14 states have had fewer than five executions.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Tuesday, “I believe the death penalty ought to be an option for juries,” and earlier this year, (Congressional Quarterly) . “In Texas we believe in having a fair trial and then the hanging.”

But opposition to Texas executions is coming from all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. The 27-nation European Union called Texas to put a moratorium on executions, which state leaders quickly rejected.

“It’s none of their business,” said Cornyn. Governor Rick Perry’s office echoed the Senator. “Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens,” said Perry spokesman Robert Black. “While we respect our friends in Europe, and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.”

So THATS where Bush gets his idea, that as long as his wife and the dog have his back, we'll be in Iraq. It's that "I don't care whether it even works, or makes sense, but we're going to do it anyways" attitude that he picked up in the Governor's Mansion... Anyways, go Rangers!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Noriega, Watts, Cornyn website comparison...

So there really a lot that you can tell from a candidate from their website. Just by how it's maintained, how it's designed, you can see what's really important to the candidate. I.E. When, on the day of the primary, Joe Lieberman claimed his website was hacked by bloggers. (more from kos). Of course, after the investigation, the State Attorney General's office, and even supposedly the FBI found no involvement from outside sources.

Even Republican Mark Kennedy's website claimed to have had a "security breach," although their contribution page was still up and running. From ConnecticutBob , "The best part is, if you click on the link to Kennedy's website above and quickly hit the Stop button, it catches it before it redirects from the original webpage. I captured the code below, and there is an obvious line edited into it from their web designer, which says this: '...remove refresh when kennedy wants to get site back'!"

So let's take a look at the three frontrunners for the Texas 08 Senate election, starting with John Cornyn ( There's a great picture of Cornyn and Bush schmoozing it up. In fact, he'll be supporting the Bush "the troop surge is working, even though I'm going to compare Iraq to Vietnam" rhetoric... See it this Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Next to Mikal Watts' website at ( Fairly well designed, nice colors, but the bulk of the website is Mike's video talking about... himself. He really likes noting that he graduated school early.

More from Stuart Rothenberg:

The first half of the four-minute, 15 second video is straightforward enough. Watts introduces himself and talks about his education, his parents, his own family and his interest in public service. He's a trial lawyer, so it's not surprising that he's poised, articulate and polished.

The second half of the video probably is the silliest, most transparent attempt to deliver a message I have ever seen.

Watts wants us to know that he is a "fighter" and a "leader," and he apparently thinks that viewers of his video are a little dense. You'd either have to be in a coma or not understand English to miss Watts' message. The Democratic hopeful uses a form of the word "fight" 11 times in the last two minutes and 15 seconds of the video. And he uses a form of the word "leader" another eight times during that same period.

In one section of the video lasting 37 seconds, Watts uses the word "fighter" six times -- an average of once every 6.17 seconds:

"I have been a fighter my entire career, fighting for the rights of average, working families here in Texas. And I have proven that I will stay in that fight and give it my all until we win. Texans are looking for a Senator who is a leader, who will fight for them. Someone who will fight for families here in Texas rather than special interests there in Washington. I am certain that as we travel around the state and see more and more good Texans, that my message of real leadership and real change in Washington is a message that is going to hit home here in Texas. I am confident that Texans will join me in this fight."

There are plenty of attributes that voters want in their candidates. They certainly want leaders and, at least now, forces for change. I certainly wouldn't criticize Watts or any candidate for mentioning them. It's the way he talks about them that is so aggravating. It sounds as if he thinks he's the first guy to run on those buzzwords.

Now to Rick's website. ( It isn't quite as polished as the other two, but it has a message. It shows Rick serving our country in Afghanistan, and being sworn in for his 5th term while on active duty outside Kabul. "I wanted my 'family' here in Afghanistan to swear me in," said Noriega. Shortly afterward, he emailed his docunments to Austin, where his wife was able to serve in his absence.

His website shows his dedication to us, his future constitutents, and shows that through his history of service for us in Houston, for Hurricane Katrina, and as he served in Afghanistan. Rick truly is a regular guy, and his website truly reflects that!

$20K Goal Reached... SHOOT FOR $25K!

It's amazing that ActBlue considers Texas an active state, but that's what you get when your explatory committee brings in a third as much as a Presidential Candidate! (12K Rick, $37k Edwards).

Let's keep this momentum going, and bring in that $5K before Rick gets back from training and show him what kind of support he has from all of us.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rick Makes a Big Splash on ActBlue

From the ActBlue Blog:

Total Contributions last week: $226,262.30
Total Donors: 1794
Avg. Contribution size: $128.33

Here are the Top 5 Recipients on ActBlue last week by number of donors.
1. John Edwards President 520
2. Rick Noriega TX-Sen 154
3. Steven L. Beshear KY-Gov 106
4. Democracy for America Organization 88
5. Tom Allen ME-Sen 84

Here are the Top 5 Candidate Recipients on ActBlue last week by total amount raised.
1. John Edwards President $36,870.80
2. Rick Noriega TX-Sen $12,332.61
3. Gary Trauner WY-AL $11,200.00
4. Jamie Eldridge MA-05 $10,004.61
5. Russ Warner CA-26 $9,196.60

Here are the Top 5 ActBlue Fundraising Pages last week by number of donors.
1. John Edwards 494 $36,031.66 $72.93
2. DFA for Steve Beshear 132 $4,135.65 $21.42
3. Blue America '08 127 $11,533.12 $32.30
4. Netroots for Rick Noriega 91 $10,444.00 $114.76
5. SoCal Grassroots 42 $1,095.00 $26.07

So what does this mean? Rick is definitely getting some momentum! Here's more from the campaign:

This campaign is going to be tough. Rick is a regular Texan who has devoted himself to public service, not personal wealth. Meanwhile, John Cornyn's war chest is being filled by the corporate special interests who owe him for putting their personal agendas ahead of what's right for Texas.

But this campaign isn't going to be won by simply throwing money at the Texas voters. Some candidates have tried that in the past, without much success.

We're going to win because we have the right candidate, the right message, and the grassroots support. But make no mistake, we have to grow our grassroots base to win. To grow our support, we're going to need the funds to get our message out.

Let's show Rick he has the support to win! Please make a contribution, and "Fill Rick's Boots" today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rick Gets Blogosphere Blessing

From The S.A. Current:

"In 2006 I was primarily focused on getting John Tester elected in Montana,” said Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, a progressive political blog that boasts over a million visitors a day. “This year, I am going to do everything I can to elect Rick Noriega in Texas.

It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that Moulitsas’s ringing endorsement is the political equivalent of a Bill Gates letter of recommendation. His site — Daily Kos — worked with other leading progressive sites such as and the Swing State Project to raise more than $1.5 million for 17 candidates in the 2006 election cycle.

The 2006 elections were the tipping point for successful online political organization. The people-powered movement was able to propel its own brand of candidates to high political offices. Their successes include U.S. Senators Jon Tester (Montana) and Jim Webb (Virginia). Many at the convention are hoping to send a third people-powered candidate to the U.S. Senate — Rick Noriega.

Immediately after the convention, an article in the Washington Post conveyed the level of support Noriega developed in Chicago, saying that “many at the YearlyKos convention cared more about Democrat Rick Noriega than Sen. Barack Obama. They hoped Mr. Noriega will unseat Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican … ”

Cornyn’s low approval ratings — which have stagnated around 31 percent according to the latest polls — have given Democrats across the country hope for an upset. Nationally, another Democrat in the U.S. Senate would mean wonders for the agenda of the Democratic Party, but if it’s possible, the implications of a Cornyn defeat are even more meaningful here in Texas.

Planned Parenthood Party Like a Rock Star! (and Mikal Watts Pro-Life Stance)

(L to R) "Old Elvis" Rick Cofer, deputy campaign manager for Rick Noriega for Texas, and "Asian Elvis" Ramey Ko, chairman for Asian Americans for Obama and volunteer for Rick Noriega, (and unknown) all appear as Elvises for the annual "Party like a Rock Star" Planned Parenthood fundraiser on Saturday held this year at the House of Dereon.

This is in sharp contrast to democratic primary challenger and millionaire San Antonio trial lawyer Mikal Watts, who probably wouldn't only avoid such events, but even told R.G. Ratcliffe “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.”

Let's see how these compare with others' views from across the political spectrum...

George W. Bush from CNS News: "Bush has clearly stated, on several occasions, that the circumstances when abortion should be allowed are limited to protect the life of the mother, rape or incest."

John McCain on Meet The Press: McCain said he had “come to the conclusion that the exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother are legitimate exceptions” to an outright ban on abortions.

Mitt Romney from "Governor Romney has declared that he is pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. This position is identical to that of President George W. Bush, the most pro-life president we’ve ever had."

Rudy Giuliani from MediaMatters: "Giuliani's position is that he would not change current law on abortion funding, which prohibits federal funding except in cases of incest, rape, or life endangerment."

I could go on, but I think you get the point. Watts holds the same pro-life position as Bush, McCain, Romney, and Giuliani. We've discovered his PAC making contributions to republican candidates. What else are you hiding Mike?

ADDITION: I almost forgot..
John Cornyn and Greg Abbott from Texas Eagle Forum: "John Cornyn, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, and Judge Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for Texas Attorney General, recently rescinded their opposition to abortion under all circumstances. Cornyn now justifies abortion in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother, while Abbott says consideration should be given to protect a woman's life."

And... thre you have it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

An Open Letter to Mikal Watts

From Hal at Half Empty

An Open Letter to Mikal Watts

Dear Mikal,

I just wanted to let you know that today the Fort Bend Democrats held a very successful fundraiser in the form of our annual garage sale. We received thousands of donated items from Democrats across the county and spent the previous 3 days furiously sorting, pricing and putting them on display for today’s sale.

Shoppers at first trickled in with the dawn, but as the morning progressed we were truly deluged with customers, and later a midsummer rain shower. But never fear, we Democrats learn from our past mistakes and this time held our garage sale indoors with the A/C a-roaring and fans a-blowing and a roof protecting the whole thing. So we stayed cool and dry.

As I say, Democrats learn from our past mistakes. Can anyone spell T-O-N-Y S-A-N-C-H-E-Z?

Anyway, as much as we raked it in, and as many customers who showed up to throw their money at us, we still have lots and lots of good stuff to sell. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to sell all the stuff we have, and at great prices, I might add.

So we decided to close it up and advertise for a repeat event next Saturday.

But you know, we are dead tired. We’ve been working for 4 days straight to get this thing put together and accomplished, and now we are faced with another day this next weekend (Saturday, August 25th 8 AM (hopefully, this time) to 3 PM). We’re tired and could use a little help. So here is what I am going to propose. How about getting that checkbook of yours out and writing a check to the Fort Bend Democrats, a check for . . . say . . . 10 large? If you do that then what we will do is take the whole kit and caboodle of highly saleable goods down to the Fort Bend Women’s Center, who maintains a thrift store to help fund their Women’s Shelter. It’s a Win-Win-Win situation. You’d be doing us a favor, you’d be doing the battered and abused women of Fort Bend County a favor, and you’d put a feather in the cap of your campaign. It would be worth some ink in the local press, don’t you think?

I’ll bet it would get more notice than buying roast beef lunches for Democrats in Victoria.

By the way, and as an aside. Strong hint for the future, to save cash: Democrats will gladly accept a tepid hot dog on a white bread bun slathered with mustard and relish. You don’t have to go overboard with them. Democrats think a hot roast beef lunch is more appropriate for a wake.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Melissa Noriega READS THIS BLOG!

That's right! I met the Houston Councilwoman, and wife of Lt. Col. Rick Noriega tonight. I introduced myself, and she says, "Oh, I know you, you do the blog!"

I'm still smiling..!

Harris County Young Dems Candidate Forum

Even with some leftover rain from Tropical Depression Erin lingering, the atmosphere was certainly upbeat as candidates from across Harris County, including representatives from state-wide and national campaigns showed up to mingle with the Young Democrats. This is definitely promising, as it shows that candidates recognize that us, the "you-tube" and internet generations can make a significant difference in their elections next year.

Rick Cofer, Deputy Campaign Manager, and Melissa Noriega from Rick Noriega for Texas

About one and a half dozen candidates attended a happy hour after work with the Young Dems, asked for petition signatures to aviod filing fees, and spelled out their platforms. In several cases candidates told us why their opponents suck, "with all due respect," of course. The atmosphere was quite intimate, as the ratio of Young Dems to candidates was only 3 or 4-to-1.

I grabbed some cards from a few folks, but will get up a full list when I get a chance. Just some of the candidates in attendance:

Presidential Race:
Hillary for President represented by field staff.

Statewide office:
Rick Noriega for US Senate - Represented by Melissa Noriega and Rick Cofer, Deputy Campaign Manager (Rick himself was unable to attend due to military training)

County-wide office:
Steven Kirkland for 215th Civil District Court
Fred Cook for 215th Civil District Court
Marc Isenberg for 80th District Judge

City-wide offices:
Lawrence Allen for Houston City Council District D
Manisha Mehta for Houston City Council District E

Candidate Steven Kirkland meets with young dems.

AP Says Money is Not an Issue for Watts

According to the Associated Press:

Whatever challenges Democrat Mikal Watts faces as a Texas senatorial hopeful, money isn‘t one of them.

Nor will he need to hitch a ride to make his campaign stops.

A San Antonio-based trial lawyer, Watts announced recently he might run against Sen. John Cornyn. Out came the personal checkbook, and $3.8 million in personal loans and contributions later, he had as much money in his campaign account as the incumbent.

Watts also filed a financial disclosure statement recently that showed he owns two airplanes, a 1976 Westwind jet and a 1979 Cheyenne turboprop.

$30K in 30 Days?

The call went out about a month ago to drum up as much support as we could for Rick. We've had Rick introduced to the Blogosphere:

Daily Kos
Burnt Orange Report

Currently, raised across ActBlue: 498 contributors for $29,932

Let's make it past 500 contributors for $30K by the weekend. That's two people for $34 a piece. If someone makes one $34 contribution. I'll make the last.

According to FEC filings, primary challenger Mikal Watts has $1.95M already set aside for the primary. It's NOT an impossible goal. Let's get to the $30K, and beyond!


Video Memories of Another People-Powered Success

I remember the days... The First Youtube video...

February, 2006: Ned, meeting informally with folks in a local pizza place, talking to people 30 or 40 at a time...

May, 2006: Then came the endorsements: NOW

June, 2006: Democracy for America:

Then.. the Bloggers:

May, 2006: Ned recognizes the importance of Bloggers. He received over 33% of the delegate vote at the state convention, (15% required for a primary):

July 4th, 2006: Ned walks every single July 4th parade he possibly can. At the Willimantic Boombox parade, The Float:

Bring in the superstars: Al Sharpton

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA),

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH),

Actor, Activist Danny Glover:

Jesse Jackson:

All leading to this... It was all worth it:

What Followed? Amazing support for those who wanted to turn our country around. Kerry, Edwards, Kennedy, Clark, Dean, Dodd, all stumped for Ned. Endorsements from labor, UAW, AFT, SEIU, Teamsters. The energy was amazing. The atmosphere at every event was undescribable.

New Haven:



Bringing out the Truth:

We can bring this to Texas. We can reinvigorate the masses, get people excited about politics, about being able to stand for a change, to be able to stand for something again. We can make this happen.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mikal Watts' Good Government PAC Funds Republicans!

Although Watts' name only shows up in FEC filings as a Democratic donor (with the exception of a single $1,500 donation to a republican, he does seem to hedge his bets, with donations to the committees for Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Biden so far), it seems that a little more research reveals over $1 million in contrubitions the Good Government Political Action Committee, which is housed in his law firm's Corpus Christi offices.

The Good Govermnent PAC contributed to...


$2,500 to Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Arlington, an ally of Speaker Tom Craddick
$1,000 to Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford,another of Craddick's backers
$10,000 for Rep. Norma Chavez of El Paso, democrat, but Craddick supporter
$10,000 for Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston
$1,000 to Rep. Kevin Bailey

to Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott,($5.6 million in his campaign account).

from Watts to the Good Government PAC
($100,000 of it went to the Hillco Pac., the lobby vehicle that helps keep Craddick in office).

Watts' money apparently already has run U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson out of the race.

Where else is Watts' money going??

Body Mishandled by Mexican Authorities, Cornyn's Office Remains Silent

Last Friday morning, the body of El Paso resident Ernest V. Arroyo was discovered in a shallow pool in the Rio Grande. As the El Paso Fire Department officials were suiting up for the retrieval, Juarez firefighters grabbed the body and pulled it past the understood boundary onto Mexican soil. When the body was discovered, Consulate officials called to relay the information, but shortly afterward, funeral homes began calling.

Anthony Arroyo, The Victim's Brother:

"Right away (the funeral home) demanded a $400 down payment," Arroyo said. "Before all was said and done, the funeral director wanted another $2,100. They went as far as coming to the United States picking up the check and cashing it before they would let us see the body."
Mexican authorities noted that they do not charge fees to claim a body, but that the funeral homes may charge transportation fees for those services. After the frustration with dealing with the Mexican officials, the brother contacted several of his elected officials including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and his state senator in Houston, Mario Gallegos about the issue, and only heard back from Gallegos.

The Victim's body was returned to the family Monday, but had been autopsied without authorization from the family. They were reaching out to their officials for assistance, as the family was not familiar with international procedures concerning retreival of bodies, yet was shrugged off by many of his officials including Cornyn.

"It is upsetting the way that my family has been treated," Arroyo said. "I understand that there are lots of things going on and we are just a small problem in a big world but it is upsetting to know that if this had been handled properly, we would have never had to go through any of this."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Thanks to the folks at Moveon for this lovely footage.

Letter from Melissa

Dear Eric,

Hi, I'm Melissa Noriega, career educator, member of the Houston City Council, and wife of Texas' next U.S. Senator, Rick Noriega.

As Rick wrote to you on Monday, he's off for the next two weeks participating in a leadership command course for the Army at Fort Benning, GA. I'm proud of Rick's service to our country in uniform, and there's no doubt he's exactly where he needs to be right now. But that doesn't change the fact that we are in a heated Senate race to defeat John Cornyn, one of the most reactionary Senators in America.

For the next two weeks, Rick can't campaign. He can't meet the voters. And no, he can't fundraise for the campaign. That's where you come in.

Rick and I need you to fill in. With your support, we can beat John Cornyn. Join us and contribute to Rick Noriega's campaign for U.S. Senate today!

Rick has dedicated his life to public service. In addition to his military service, since 1999, he has represented our East End Houston community in the Texas House of Representatives (I had the honor of serving in his stead while he was deployed to Afghanistan), where he has consistently voted for fairness and equal opportunity for all Texans. Rick also managed relief efforts for over 30,000 of our neighbors from Louisiana at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Rick is the right person to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate because every day he walks the walk. He has a record of service working to help everyday Texans that our opponents simply cannot match. We need to get that message out to all of Texas, and we need your help to ensure we have the resources to do that.

While Rick is serving our country at Fort Benning, we need you to make the difference.

Please rush an online contribution to Rick today. With your support, we're going to bring change to Texas.

As a 27-year veteran of the Houston Independent School District (HISD), I know the challenges of educating people. Instead of a classroom of 22 students, in this campaign, we have the challenge of educating millions of Texans about Rick! We can't do that without the financial resources to get Rick's story and message out.

Let's show Rick what kind of support he has in Texas and across America when he returns from his Army training.

This is going to be a tough campaign, and we're going to need you to help us build our team across Texas. Thank you for your support.


Melissa Noriega
Rick Noriega for Texas
Democrat for U.S. Senate

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rick, One of US!

Rick Noriega filed papers with the Senate this week in accordance with campaign finance regulartions. This is what they showed...

From the Houston Chronicle:

Democratic State Rep. Rick Noriega reported earning $37,000 from his service in the Texas National Guard — wages he says show he's a regular Texan as he considers a campaign to unseat Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2008.

Noriega had other income for a total of $175,800 during the past 18 months. But he is stressing his service with the Guard in Afghanistan, during Hurricane Katrina and on the U.S.-Mexico border as he tests whether to become a full-fledged candidate. Noriega is a lieutenant colonel in the Guard.

"As my financial disclosures show, I am a regular Texan, of middle-class means," Noriega said in a statement.

What about possible democratic primary rival Mikal Watts? His reports showed earnings of $40 million with nearly $4 million going towards the primary, and over $6 million for the general election.


Welcome Home Rove!

So the talk is that with Rove's retirement back in Texas, that he may settle back in with the Cornyn campaign. Afterall, he was a good reason why the Repubs lost the Congress last year. Anyways, check out these guys talking about it...

Christy Hardin Smith - FDL

Charles Kuffner - Off the Kuff

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Noriega Video!

A good two-minute view at what brought Rick into the race, and why he's running. Too long for a TV-ad, but it's really meant just to introduce him to you.

Email from Rick

Just got my first email from the campaign... Here it goes.. it's about the video posted below

Dear Eric,

Click here to watch our new video, "Answer the Call"

As Americans, it is our duty to stand up and speak out when politicians have steered our country off the rails. It is in our very fabric, our soul. It is why I am running against Senator John Cornyn. It's time for Texans to stand up and say, "Enough."

We will not stand by as John Cornyn perpetuates the mismanagement of the war on terror, while protecting polluters over the environment and insurance companies over families who need health care -- all while doing nothing about education, and nothing about immigration.

Texans deserve better.

They deserve a real leader in the U.S. Senate. But we will not win this race by running against John Cornyn. We need to spread our message for change across Texas. Today, we're releasing our second web video, "Answer the Call."

Please take a moment to watch the video, and help spread our message by forwarding this email to 5 of your friends today. Invite them to join our campaign!

Our conversation with the voters of Texas is just beginning. We will engage in an open, honest discussion. I challenge John Cornyn to do the same.

Instead of participating in PR stunts saying "Thank You" to the troops by handing out pizza to soldiers at Dell Diamond, the Austin-area baseball field, John Cornyn should tell the troops he voted against a bipartisan effort to extend dwell time for soldiers with their families in between deployments.

He should tell the soldiers he was 1 of only 9 Senators to vote against the ban on the use of torture on detainees held by U.S. forces and to require the military to follow the Army field manual for interrogations -- a ban that is critical in maintaining America's global moral leadership, while helping to protect our own men and women in uniform when they are captured by the enemy.

He should tell the children of Texas and their mothers and fathers that he recently voted against CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), a program that ensures millions of children have access to quality health care.

It is time for us to stand up for the common good. It is what our campaign is about, and I need your help in building our team.

Watch our latest web video, and then forward this email to everyone on your email list.

For the next two weeks, I won't be able to write to you. Today, I am headed to Fort Benning, Georgia to participate in the Army's Infantry Pre-Command Course. This is a great honor, and this leadership course will better prepare me for the challenges of command.

I'm proud to serve. I have dedicated my life to service: serving my country, serving my state, and serving my community.

With your help, I plan to continue serving -- as the next Democratic U.S. Senator from the state of Texas. Thank you for support.


Rick Noriega