Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Karl-Thomas Returns to Texas- The 2,000 Mile Challenge

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 08:24 AM CST

Answering the call to serve.

The rumors are true- I'm moving back to Texas!

I am excited to announce that I have taken leave from ActBlue in order to join Rick Noriega's US Senate campaign as the Online Coordinator effective November 1.

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.

But Catfish and I would like to issue a fundraising challenge in support of Rick Noriega.

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.

Can you raise $1 for Rick Noriega for each mile of flight by the time we land?

$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!

Give here: http://www.actblue.com/page/2000milechallenge

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

Cornyn Two-Faced on Dream Act

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

Early Voting Through Nov 2... Remember Melissa Noriega!

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:


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

Dear friends,

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

Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie on Mikal Watts


"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."

Nick Lampson Supports Rick Noriega


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."

Barbara Ann Radnofsky Comments about Watts' Withdrawal

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.

The announcements today bode remarkably well for Democrats winning in November 2008, and beyond. This will help fundraising and merge the interests and needs of the diverse and expanding Texas Democratic Party. Folks are re-joining the Democrats. I've seen interest and support from Republicans and Independents attending the last eight fundraisers we've hosted this summer and fall. The Republican and Independent support for Democrats is increasing in intensity and generosity. And that is great.

Rick Noriega Comments on Mikal Watts Withdrawal

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.


Rick Noriega
Democrat for U.S. Senate

Mikal Watts: A Better Democrat Than Joe Lieberman!

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.

Mikal Watts Out of Senate Race in Texas

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

Mikal Watts Not Feeling The Love

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.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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


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.

Team Noriega

Noriega Express Yard Sign

Friday, October 19, 2007

Campaign Email: More Contributors Than Watts!

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!


Sue Schechter
Campaign Manager
Rick Noriega for Texas
Democrat for U.S. Senate

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Support Proposition 15 in Texas

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 M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Having survived an intensive, 10 hour long breast cancer operation, my mother was recuperating, and I took several days off from school to be by her side.

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 Houston, as well as excellent facilities in Dallas and around the state, combined with some of the world’s premier research institutions, we need to lead the way in all cancer research. We have a $4B budget surplus and now is the time to act.

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
BBA-Marketing, 2005
Independent Blogger - NoriegaBlog.com


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Noriega Beats Watts in Contributions

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.

Noriega: $508,000
Watts: $443,000

South Texas Stands Up For Noriega

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.

Campaign Message: Junior John's Healthcare Voting

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?

Email Senator Cornyn -- tell him to override Bush's veto and reauthorize SCHIP so that millions of American children have access to health care today!

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.

Email Senator Cornyn -- tell him to override Bush's veto and reauthorize SCHIP so that millions of American children have access to health care today!

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!


Rick Noriega
Democrat for U.S. Senate

Email John Cornyn now!

Noriega and Watts Interview

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.

Mikal Watts... Republican in Democrat's Clothing?

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.