By Anne McAfee
Now that the runoff is behind us, County and Senatorial District Chairs no longer have to be neutral about which candidate to support for the U. S. Senate. Now we are all free to go all out for Paul Sadler.
A friend says that some Republicans are so upset with the election of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party that some of the more moderate Republicans plan to vote for Paul Sadler.
The goal is to raise several million dollars, enough to help Paul Sadler be competitive enough to actually beat Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz.
(According to Wikipedia, Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada— the oil capital of Canada. And he first came to the United States as a 4-year-old. His father was a Cuban immigrant, and his mother was an American who was raised in Delaware. This may explain why Cruz was unwilling to debate Dewhurst in Spanish for Univision television. Dewhurst, as a former CIA agent in South America, is fluent in Spanish.)
In early June, Ed Sterling of the Texas Press Association wrote:
About 1.5 million ballots were cast for Republican Party candidates, and about 600,000 ballots were cast for Democratic candidates in the 2012 Texas Primary Election, in early voting and on Election Day, May 29.
Figures released by the Secretary of State show those numbers work out to about 11% of the state’s registered voters voting Republican and 4.5% voting Democratic.
I don’t feel bad that the Republicans outvoted us. After all, they had a heated contest at the top of their ballot. This means that the most dedicated Democrats actually voted.
Assume that of the 600,000 Democrats who voted, we can actually reach 500,000 of them. I hope to reach them through the County and Senatorial District Chairs of each of the 254 counties and through the SDEC members from those counties and senatorial districts. I would hope that the County Chairs could then send emails to all of their precinct chairs with this message and then send reminder messages each month:
Tithe $10 on the 10th for Paul Sadler
Of course, people should be free to contribute more than ten bucks, especially since it’s just a little more than 3 months until the November election.
(A Methodist friend doesn’t like the word “tithe” because it reminds her of all those rightwing evangelicals.)
I realize that we’re already well past the 10th of June, but people can still click on SadlerForSenate.com and then click on DONATE.
I hope donors will then continue to donate for the next 3 or 4 months.
Brian Hodgdon, the Texas VAN director, sent me the names and email addresses of the County and Senatorial District Chairs and SDEC members.
It turns out that 3 or 4 of the County Chairs don’t have email addresses. But I suspect that they live in sparsely populated counties.
I figure that if the big donors see that Paul Sadler has a fighting chance to get elected, that they’ll pitch in and make large donations.
My political background:
I got hooked on politics as a 13-year-old volunteer in the 1944 Minnie Fisher Cunningham campaign for Governor— 25-years earlier, she had been president of the Texas Women’s Suffrage Association. I’m proud that Texas got the vote for women two years before they got it nationally.
That made it possible for Annie Webb Blanton— for whom Annie’s List is named— to be elected statewide as the State Superintendant of Public Instruction in 1918. She defeated the incumbent and another man by a wide margin.
I’ve been involved in one or more campaigns every two years since then. I also served as a member of the SDEC in the 1990s.
I grew up on a small farm just south of Austin. And I milked cows as a teenager when the men in my family had volunteered to serve during World War II. That small farm is now close-in to downtown Austin. My family opposed every war before and after World War II— but World War II was different.
Why am I especially interested in Paul Sadler? My mother taught school for 40 years. Our eldest daughter resigned after 30 years of teaching— largely because of the mess Rick Perry and the Tea Party Legislature made of our schools.
If I had had another life to live, I would have been a high school history teacher. But I was busy raising 5 kids— and later I helped my husband in his printing and publishing business. And at one point, I was editor of a weekly newspaper (in my spare time).
Here’s Paul Sadler’s background, which is why I believe so strongly in him:
Paul Sadler was a very successful lawyer long before he was elected to the Texas Legislature. He hails from the small East Texas town of Henderson (population 13,715), and he served in the Texas Legislature for 12 years, from 1991 to 2003. Sadler and his wife, Sherri, have 5 children, Erin, Brandon, Lee, Joel and Sam.
A 1977 graduate of Baylor University, he went on to graduate from Baylor Law School in 1979. He is licensed to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Paul Sadler served as chair of the House Public Education Committee, where he provided teacher pay raises for three consecutive sessions for the first time in Texas’ history. Sadler also chaired the Select Committee on State Revenue and Public School Finance, and he later chaired the Select Committee on Public School Employee Health Insurance. He was the only House member to chair two committees at the same time. He had dual chairmanships in two different sessions.
Sadler enacted public school employee health insurance for the first time in our history. He won passage of a $3.8 Billion education package, and he established critical need programs for both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten kids. And he also won passage of the all-important legislation, which targeted 9th grade students at risk of dropping out of school.
He worked across the aisle with moderate Republican State Senator Bill Ratliff to re-write Texas’s entire Education Code in 1995. And Sadler also increased funding for Texas public school facilities.
Texas Monthly named him to their ‘Ten Best List’ four times. The Dallas Morning News named him one of three “Outstanding Legislators” and later named him one of “Six Stellar” Legislators. He also received an “Award for Excellence in Education” given by the Just for the Kids Foundation, as well as similar awards from the Texas State Teachers Association and every other education group in Texas.
More recently, Sadler has served as executive director of The Wind Coalition, a non-profit group which promotes wind energy as a clean, reliable source of energy. The coalition includes several companies involved in the wind energy business. And it also includes several civic groups such as Public Citizen and the Environmental Defense Fund. The coalition calls for regulatory and legislative work to tie in to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The coalition represents all or parts of 8 states from Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas all the way up to Nebraska.
In impoverished parts of Texas, many people can’t be reached by email. In whatever way you reach them, try to encourage them to donate $5.00 or $2.00 from time to time. Experience in other states shows that if people have some skin in the game, they are more likely to remember to go vote— and more likely to get their friends and neighbors to vote.
On the opening day of the State Convention, Austinites were greeted with an article by editorial writer Ken Herman. The prissy and insulting article was under this headline in the Statesman:
No chance of victory? Dems the breaks
Houston — It’s so adorable. They follow rules of order and have meetings and debate issues as if it really matters. And they listen to rousing speeches from party leaders infused with optimism unfettered by reality.
Yep, it’s adorable, kind of like when Boys State make believe what they’re doing has real-world impact.
Welcome to the state convention of the Texas Democratic Party, which this year, again, has the same chance —zippo— of winning a statewide race as does every party without the word Republican in its name . . .
I’m sure Mr. Herman thought he was being cute. But he ticked me off. Let’s go out and show him— and others like him.
I’d love to get feedback from you. Please let me know what you think about this plan, and contact me at my newly opened Gmail account: Anne.C.McAfee@gmail.com.