Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Republican Primary Runoff In Collin Co.

With an unusually high number of ballot positions for April 2010 Republican Primary Runoff Election in Collin County there is a great deal of interest in exactly who can vote in the Republican Runoff.
The most frequent misconception is that you must have voted in the primary election to vote in the primary runoff. Another frequent misconception circulating is that you cannot vote in the primary runoff unless you were eligible to vote in the primary election.

Here is the fact: Anyone who was registered on or before March 13 is eligible to vote in the Republican Primary Runoff Election, as long as they DID NOT vote in the March 2, 2010 Democratic Primary Election.

Depending on where you live in Collin County you will have different candidates on your Republican Primary Runoff Ballot.

Every Republican Primary Runoff Ballot in Collin County will
include these six ballot positions and candidates:
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 3
* Rick Green
* Debra Lehrmann
District Court 219
* Scott Becker
* Angela Tucker
County Court at Law 3
* Lance Baxter
* Stewart Matthews
County Court at Law 4
* David Rippel
* Matt Goeller
County Court at Law 6
* Terri Green
* Jay Bender
District Clerk
* Patricia Crigger
* Alma Hays

If you live in Texas State House of Representatives District 66, you will have this additional ballot position and pair of candidates:

State Representative 66
* Mabrie Jackson
* Van Taylor (Taylor has the "TEA Approved" rating from the North Texas Tea Party)
If you live in Collin County Commissioner's Court Place 2, you will have this additional ballot position and pair of candidates:
Commissioner's Court 2
* Cheryl Williams
* Jerry Hoagland

To find your House of Representatives District number look on your Voter Registration card for the box titled "STATE REP."

To find your Collin County Commissioner's Court Place number look on your Voter Registration card for the box titled "COM"

To find your Collin County election Precinct number look on your Voter Registration card for the box titled "Prec. No."

To view your Voter Registration card information online click here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plano Special Runoff Election In March

Updated Wednesday March 27, 2010 @ 8:56 p.m.
Today was the Plano City Council, pl 3 special run-off election day between André Davidson and Kathy Fang.

With 100% of the precincts reporting the Plano Special Election results are - Andre Davidson 56.03% Vs. Cathy Fang 43.97% on 4,931 ballots cast.

Updated Saturday January 30, 2010 @ 9:06 p.m.
Plano Special Election final results were reported by the Collin County Registrar's Office at 8:47 P.M. Saturday January 30, 2010. Out of 144,389 registered City of Plano voters a total of 4,199 (2.9%) people cast a ballot for one of the three candidates with the following results:
  • Andre Davidson 1819 (43.74%)
  • Cathy Fang 1517 (36.48%)
  • Doug Shockey 823 (19.79%)
Since none of the three candidates topped 50% of the total vote, a special City of Plano runoff election between the top two candidates, Andre Davidson and Cathy Fang, will now be scheduled in March.

Beginning immediately in 2010 the Plano City Council must start identifying new ways to cut city spending and bolster city tax collections. Council members have already mentioned actions such as closing libraries on Fridays, eliminating school police patrols, ending taxi vouchers for the elderly and privatizing city government services as ways to cut city spending.

One of the two city council candidates André Davidson or Cathy Fang will soon add their voice to council discussions on how to make the difficult budget and tax choices that must be made in the months, and perhaps years, to come.
André Davidson has said, "It would be foolish to say we shouldn't look at everything - including whether we have to look at raising revenue." On her campaign website Davidson says she is committed to:
Continuing to provide quality city services, especially in the area of public safety, economic development to ensure a strong tax base and keep our community vibrant, and revitalization of our neighborhoods and commercial properties.
Ms. Davidson has been endorsed by the Plano Firefighters Association and a list of others.
Cathy Fang has said tax increases should be a last resort and that Plano should privatize city services and more closely scrutinize city spending.
On her campaign website Fang says, "I feel at this time, when the economy is not doing well, taxes are on the rise, our city government is not being accountable to the citizens..." [Fang campaign video] Fang has also said,
“Some tax increases are necessary, but there’s a limit -- the government cannot treat people like an ATM to get the money they’re lacking. Plano needs to be aggressive in the business market to attract bigger businesses and companies to bring jobs to the Plano community.”
Original Post Saturday January 3, 2010 @ 10:53 a.m.

You have probably heard that Plano plans to hold a special election to fill the City Council Place 3 seat of Mabrie Jackson, who resigned in November to run for the Texas state legislature district 66 house house seat left open when Rep. Brian McCall announced he would not seek re-election. The Plano special election day is scheduled for January 30, 2010 with several days of early voting starting January 13, 2010.

The Plano City Council initially wanted to hold the special election concurrent with the March 2 primary, however, Texas state election code prohibits the city from scheduling the election within 30 days of a primary election. State election rules also dictate that an election to fill the vacated council seat must be scheduled within so many days after the vacancy occurs. January 30th was the only date that satisfied the legal requirements for a special election. According to City of Plano officials, the cost for the special election will be about $80,000.

While voters citywide elect members to the Plano City Council's seven seats, four of its seven members must reside in designated districts for representative diversity across the city. Three candidates, all political newcomers, have filed to run in the special city election to fill the designated north-central Plano Place 3 District City Council vacancy. The three candidates André Davidson, Cathy Fang and Doug Shockey currently live in the Place 3 District and have each lived in Plano for approximately 30 years.

With the City of Plano facing projected budget shortfalls of up to $50 million through 2011 budget year, the city council will be forced to make even more difficult budget decisions in the coming months of 2010 than they already made in 2009.
In 2009 the Plano City Council approved a $400 million budget plan that already included millions in cuts to city services plus a hike to the city's property tax rates. That budget plan doesn't take effect until October 2010, but the most current economic projections for Plano now show that the projections used to write the 2010 city budget were too optimistic.

Commercial property taxes, which accounts for roughly half of Plano's tax base, is now on a trajectory to decline 10 percent more than initially projected by the council. The additional commercial tax base decline added to continuing declines in sales tax collections and a troubled residential housing market are now projected to leave a $20 million shortfall in the city's next 2010 budget plan.

Unless the economy rebounds significantly through 2010 the city will likely see an additional $30 million contraction of tax revenues leading into the 2011 budget year. The tax base contraction trend could continue and even deepen leading into the 2012 budget year.
League of Women Voters: Voters Guide for Jan. 30 Plano City Council Special Election.
You must be properly registered 30 days in advance of any schedule election in order to vote in the election. (Check your registration status online here.) Properly registered Collin County voters began to see their new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration cards arriving in the mail during mid-December. The Collin County Registrar's office automatically sent a new Blue and White registration card to every "active" registered voter in the county during December 2009.

If you did not receive a new Blue and White voter registration card, it may indicate that you are no longer properly registered to vote. You should call the Registrar's office to ask why you did not receive your new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration card.
800-687-8546 / 972-547-1990
For more information on the new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration cards, click here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Political Strategy Of FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

Videos: Rachel Maddow talks about right
wing rhetoric urging violence against
Democrats and the resulting acts of
violence it has promoted.

Last Friday, former militia leader Mike Vanderboegh called for violence against Democrats across the country to protest the health care bill.
Vanderboegh posted the call for action Friday on his blog, “Sipsey Street Irregulars.” Referring to the health care reform bill as “Nancy Pelosi’s Intolerable Act,” he told followers to send a message to Democrats. And, apparently in response, attacks were made on offices of Democrats in–at least–Wichita, KS, Tucson, AZ, Rochester, NY, Niagara Falls, NY.

“We can break their windows,” he said. “Break them NOW. And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democrat party headquarters across this country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary.”
Rep. John Boehner (R., Ohio), the House minority leader, is quoted in the National Review Online saying, “Take [Rep.] Steve Driehaus, [(D., Ohio)] for example, he may be a dead man. He can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati.
The anti-reform advocacy group then published an ad in The Cincinnati Enquirer featuring a photo of Dreihaus with his children. A conservative blog published Driehaus' address--complete with directions--on the Internet so that conservatives can find his house for a planned Sunday protest at his house. [TPM]

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has also done her part to raise the rhetorical intensity toward violence, telling her Twitter followers, "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America, to ‘reload’ and ‘aim for’ Democrats.

Of coarse, Palin's use of gun imagery in her rhetoric against Democrats is no more an intentional incitement to violence than equating Barack Obama with terrorism and portraying him as "not one of us" during the 2008 presidential election campaign was an intentional incitement to violence. None the less, Palin's 2008 rhetoric against Obama prompted people to call out, "Kill him!" and "Terrorist!" at her 2008 campaign rallies. [Death threats leveled at Democratic congressman and their families / House Democrats report increased threats]

Denying that their intense rhetoric has in any way pushed their constituencies to the edge of violence, conservative leaders in congress and on conservative radio and TV excuse this "Rage on the Right" by claiming the people have a "right to be angry." That the people are angry because President Obama and the Democrats controlling congress are passing laws opposed by the people through totalitarian parliamentary procedures. [Conservative View Host Justifies Tea Party Rage / RNC Chair Steele Defends Tea Partiers]
Forget the parliamentary procedures are exactly the same rules that Republicans used to enact their conservative legislative agenda when they controlled Congress and the White House for most years of the past decade.
Conservative legislation, passionately opposed by Democrats, that cut taxes while radically increasing spending, and legislation that eliminated regulatory oversight of the American financial system.

Conservative legislation that turned budget surpluses at the end of the Clinton administration into a $1.5 trillion deficit at the end of the Bush Administration. Conservative financial deregulation legislation that allowed the American financial system to run wild to near total collapse.
Forget the Tea Party speaks for only 13 percent of "the people" who say they are part of the Tea Party group; Four in five of who voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential race and George W. Bush in 2004 and who strongly support Sarah Palin for President in 2012, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll.

Forget that Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election with 349 electoral college votes to McCain's 163 votes.

Forget that two-thirds of the House seats won by Democrats in November 2008 (170, 66 percent) were won in landslide fashion, decided by more than 30 points over their Republican challengers and that over 90 percent of Democratic seats were won by double-digits in 2008 (233 of 257 seats), with just 24 seats decided by less than 10 points which increased the number of house seats held by Democrats by 21 seats.

Forget that Democrats increased the number of Senate seats from 49 before the November 2008 election to current number of 59 seats. All these Democratic Party wins came on a platform of "change." Change from the Republican's conservative governance.

Forget that the Republican minority now seeks to nullify the 2008 election and the will of the majority of voters who elected Democrats to represent them in the White House, Senate and House.

Forget that during the Bush Administration years when Republicans controlled the House and Senate, conservatives would shout that Democrats in congress were "with the terrorists" when they opposed the policies of the Republican leadership. In fact, any negative criticism of the president whatsoever was considered unpatriotic "while troops were in harm's way." That was the line we heard almost daily throughout the previous decade: don't undermine the commander-in-chief while troops were deployed in battle.
IBM had great success with a marketing strategy coined Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) during the heyday of "Big Iron" computers in the 1980's and 1990's. The message to IT Directors was that a decision to buy computing equipment from any company other than IBM could result in sudden professional death. The marketing catch phrase tagged to this FUD campaign was, "No one ever got fired for going with IBM."

For a decade, or more, the GOP has increasingly relied on the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) marketing strategy against Democrats to get Republicans elected. Increasingly, the GOP has adopted a message that Democrats are Godless, fascist, communist, socialist, totalitarian, satin worshiping, grandma killing, baby killing "evil-do'ers" determined to drag this country to the very depths of hell if they are not stopped by righteous conservatives.
The Republican National Committee plans to raise money in the 2010 election cycle through an aggressive campaign promise to "save the country" from Democrats. The 2010 GOP plan, as given in presentation given at an RNC meeting, is to promote and capitalize on “fear” of President Barack Obama and Democrats everywhere. It seems the only government policy idea the GOP will offer in 2010 is a visceral fear of Democrats. [Ben Smith has the story at Politico / An angry voter is an ignorant voter]

This is exactly the same type of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) marketing strategy that GOP consultant Frank Luntz’s told Republicans to use to oppose Health Insurance reform in his May 2009 strategy memo on health care. And this is exactly the strategy that Republicans have executed for the last year. [Politico]
The Daily Beast's John Avlon writes on, a new Harris poll released on March 24 that is based on the book "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America."The poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama:
  • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
  • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president"
  • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did"
  • 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama "may be the Antichrist."
These numbers demonstrate that the fear, uncertainty, doubt and hate political strategy has pumped up hyper-partisanship since Obama took office. This FUD strategy is what drove some Tea Party protesters gathered on Capitol Hill earlier this week to yell "n*gger" and "f*ggot" at Democratic members of Congress and what prompted others to threaten violence toward members of congress and even their children.

The Harris poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, also clearly shows that education is a barrier to extremism. Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It's a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: "Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."

[Harris poll finds Republicans believe GOP smears of Obama]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thank You All!

I want to express my appreciation and a heartfelt thank you to Linda Magid - Convention Co-Chair and SD8 Representative, Deborah Angel-Smith - Convention Co-Chair, Dick Hildenbrand - Election Administrator and Jamie Ramirez - Deputy Election Administrator, who put in so many dedicated hours of hard work to support every Collin County Democratic Primary election worker and who prepare one of the best ever Democratic Conventions in Collin County.

And, thanks to all the Democrats who volunteered to help make Primary Election Day and the County Convention such a success this year.

Michael Handley
Managing Editor, The Democratic Blog of Collin County.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott To Block Health Insurance Reform

Ten US states plan to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health insurance reform legislation as soon as President Barack Obama signs it into law.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Texas plans to join a multi-state lawsuit opposing the legislation immediately after President Barack Obama signs it into law. Abbott says the legislation violates the U.S. Constitution and "unconstitutionally infringes upon Texans' individual liberties." [Star-Telegram]

Florida's attorney general, conservative Republican Bill McCollum who is in Florida's gubernatorial race for the upcoming November mid-term elections, charges that a provision which requires most people to buy health insurance or else pay a fine is unconstitutional.

Virginia state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says,"Virgina will file suit against the federal government charging that the health-care reform legislation is unconstitutional." [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Republican attorneys general of South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and Alabama have indicated they will also join the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the reform legislation.

The governor of Idaho signed a bill last week blocking federal mandates requiring individuals in his state to purchase health insurance. Some 38 states have either filed or announced their intention to file similar legislation, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which opposes the health insurance reform.

Here are some of the private health insurance industry reforms mandated in the legislation that Republicans have blocked for the past year and will continue to block though lawsuits:
  • Health Insurers cannot deny children under age 19 health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. A ban on the discrimination in adults will take effect in 2014.
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums for 2009 and 2010.
  • Seniors will get a rebate to fill the so-called "donut hole" in Medicare drug coverage, which severely limits prescription medication coverage expenditures over $2,700. As of next year, 50 percent of the donut hole will be filled.
  • The cut-off age for young adults to continue to be covered by their parents' health insurance rises to the age 27.
  • Lifetime caps on the amount of insurance an individual can have will be banned. Annual caps will be limited, and banned in 2014.
  • Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a temporary national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they're still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insured adults. Health insurance exchanges will eliminate the program in 2014.
  • Free preventative care - New plans must cover checkups and other preventative care without co-pays. All plans will be affected by 2018.
  • No more rescission. Effective immediately, insurance companies can no longer cut someone when he or she gets sick.
  • Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders' amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.
  • Insurers must now reveal how much money is spent on overhead - All insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.
  • Any new plan must now implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
  • This tax will impose a ten percent tax on indoor tanning services. This tax, which replaced the proposed tax on cosmetic surgery, would be effective for services on or after July 1, 2010.
  • New screening procedures will be implemented to help eliminate health insurance fraud and waste.
  • Medicare payment protections will be extended to small rural hospitals and other health care facilities that have a small number of Medicare patients.
  • Non-profit Blue Cross organizations will be required to maintain a medical loss ratio -- money spent on procedures over money incoming -- of 85 percent or higher to take advantage of IRS tax benefits.
  • Chain restaurants will be required to provide a "nutrient content disclosure statement" alongside their items. Expect to see calories listed both on in-store and drive-through menus of fast-food restaurants sometime soon.
  • The bill establishes a temporary program for companies that provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55-64 in order to help reduce the often-expensive cost of that coverage.
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services will set up a new Web site to make it easy for Americans in any state to seek out affordable health insurance options The site will also include helpful information for small businesses.
  • A two-year temporary credit (up to a maximum of $1 billion) is in the bill to encourage investment in new therapies for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

House Passes Health Care Legislation

President Obama appeared before cameras in the East Room of the White House just before midnight, with Vice President Biden at his side, to hail the historic health care vote in the House.

"This isn't radical reform, but it is major reform," Obama said in the late-night speech. "This isn't going to cure everything that ails our health care system, but it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what changes looks like."

Obama is expected to sign the Senate health care bill Tuesday.

Message From President Barack Obama:

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,
President Barack Obama

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Late Season Snow And Cold Prove No Global Warming

"It's cold. So there's no Climate Change"

Facts From The National Snow
And Ice Data Center
Get ready to hear climate change deniers point to the unusual late season late snow storm and cold weather as evidence that global warming isn’t really happening.

North Texas had one of the snowiest winter seasons on record. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported today that North Texas got 17.1 inches of snow this cold season, ranking it No. 2 behind the 1977-78 season which got 17.6 inches.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport recorded 1.2 inches of snow on Saturday, which shattered the old record of 0.4 inches established on March 20, 1970. An additional 0.1 inches of snow earlier today brought the weekend total to 1.3 inches. The last time an inch or more fell on North Texas was March 29, 1937, when 2 inches fell.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

There is a significant difference between weather and climate. Weather is what we experience on any given day or even over a couple weeks. Climate describes a region’s prevailing conditions — including such things as temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity and atmospheric pressure — over long periods of time. Climate is a good indicator of what to expect. For example, in the Midwest, one would expect cold winters. Whereas, in a Mediterranean climate, one would expect a generally milder winter.

Climate change refers to shifts in prevailing conditions observed over decades. One such shift is a long-term rise in global average temperatures. The current cold spells are occurring against this backdrop.

Putting aside the difference between weather and climate, climate change projections show that a warming planet generates more precipitation in areas that typically experience rain or snow. Rising ocean surface temperatures already have increased the temperature and moisture content of the air passing over the United States, setting the stage for heavier snow and rain storms.
An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that global warming has increased the frequency of storms that dump heavy precipitation over most land regions that experience storms. Most deserts, conversely, are getting drier.
“Climate scientists aren’t at all surprised that there are more drenching rain or blizzards in certain parts of the country,” said Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “That’s consistent with well-documented climate change trends over the past several decades. Unless we take some dramatic steps to curb global warming, we likely will see a lot more regional precipitation over the next few decades.”

Precipitation in the Northeast has increased markedly over the last century, according to the Northeast Climate Impact Assessment, a collaboration between UCS and a team of more than 50 scientists and economists. Over the past few decades, winter precipitation in the Northeast has increased 0.15 inch per decade.

The Northeast is not alone. According to Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, released last year by 13 federal agencies, Great Lakes states are experiencing more precipitation because the lakes have less ice and more open water in the winter. The maximum seasonal coverage of Great Lakes ice decreased approximately 30 percent from 1973 through 2008. That means more lake water is likely to evaporate into the atmosphere, resulting in heavier snowstorms.

The current decade likely ranks as the hottest since temperature records began in the 1850s, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization announced in December 2009. On December 8th 2009, at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), reported that 2009 was likely to rank in the top 10 warmest years since 1850. He added that since 1980 every decade has been warmer than the previous one. He also stressed that greenhouse concentrations were highest now than at any time over the last 800,000 years.

While conservative Republican lawmaker continue to strongly deny all evidence of climate change, Military planners in the Pentagon have concluded that “global warming is now officially considered a threat to U.S. national security.” In its upcoming 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon planners will report that climate change could result in food and water scarcity, pandemics, population displacement, and other destabilizing events that could create conflict.
“The American people expect the military to plan for the worst,” says retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, a 35-year Navy veteran now serving as president of the American Security Project. “It’s that sort of mindset, I think, that has convinced, in my view, the vast majority of military leaders that climate change is a real threat and that the military plays an important role in confronting it.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Democratic Party of Collin County Convention

The Democratic Party of Collin County will convene its County Convention, the kick-off event for the general election season, on Saturday, March 20th, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Plano Centre, located at 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, Tx. [map] All local Democrats are welcome to attend. For more information - click here.

* Must be elected as a Delegate to the County Convention by your Precinct Convention on March 2nd to vote.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dems Lead In Poll, But GOP More Enthusiastic

In mid-term elections, enthusiasm matters and Democrats, particularly young Democrats, are not very enthusiastic about the 2010 mid-term election, according to Gallup's latest polling. The poll shows Democrats are ahead in the generic ballot preference, but Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters are much less likely to help get out the vote or vote themselves than their GOP counterparts in the November 2010 general election:
Democrats lead Republicans by a slight 47% to 44% margin when registered voters are asked which party's congressional candidate they would support in their district "if the elections for Congress were being held today." At the same time, Gallup's inaugural weekly tracking update on the 2010 elections shows Republicans with a distinct advantage over Democrats in terms of enthusiasm about voting this year.

(click on photo for larger image)

That enthusiasm gap, measured for the first time since the 2008 election in this Gallup poll, is a real problem for Democrats:
There are significant differences in enthusiasm by party, with an 18-point "very enthusiastic" gap between Republicans and Republican-leaning independents on the one hand, and Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents on the other.
Only 20% of voters age 18-29 are very enthusiastic. Obama received a blowout 66% of the vote among the 18-29 year old age group in 2008, compared to McCain's 33% of that vote. The youth also voted 63% for House Democrats in 2008 -- Young voters not only voted for Obama at the top of the ballot, they also voted down ballot or straight ticket for other Democratic candidates. In 2010 it's the young Republicans who are more likely to GOTV.

If you don't deliver for the base, the base isn't motivated to delver for you. The Democratic base is having a difficult time getting enthusiastic about Democrats, who were elected in 2006 and 2008 on a "change" platform, showing no fight for real transforming change.

Democratic leaders in the White House, U.S. House and particularly the U.S. Senate might want to think about giving their base voters something to get enthusiastic about. Maybe a health care reform signing ceremony in the Rose Garden, perhaps? It’s hard to picture these enthusiasm numbers getting worse for Dems, but imagine if reform failed!

Washington Post's Ezra Klein explains the reconciliation process, that Democrats now plan to use to pass health care reform, in the following March 8, 2010 video of The Colbert Report. "Americans don't want health care reform jammed down their throats - unless it's first battered and deep fat-fried," says Stephen Colbert.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2010 Primary Voter Turnout In Collin Co.

Updated March 3, 2010 at 1:48 A.M.
Former Houston Mayor Bill White defeated six other candidates Tuesday March 2, 2010 to become the Democratic nominee for Texas governor, giving the party its best hope in years at again putting a Democrat in the Texas Governor's Mansion.

2010 Primary Early Vote Totals
Through Friday Feb. 26
County Party Cumulative
In-Person &
Mail Voters
Collin Rep 27,078 28,068
Collin Dem 2,658 2,699
The 2010 Collin County Republican primary early voting totals exceeded that party's 2008 record early vote tally of 24,234 ballots cast. The total early and election day Republican primary vote tally in 2008 was 51,887 ballots cast.

Adding in the Election Day vote tally to early voting totals -- the Collin County Republican party topped its 2008 record turnout, albeit with a large number of Democrats crossing over to vote against Rick Perry. An additional 29,471 people turned out to vote in the Collin County Republican primary on election day to boost the final Republican primary total to 57,539 votes cast.

An additional 3,528 people turned out in Collin County for the Democratic Primary on election day bringing the final Democratic Party of Collin County vote tally to 6,227 votes cast. For chair of the Collin Co. Democratic Party
incumbent Shawn Stevens received 3,880 (79.01%) votes and his opponent Yasin R. Ali received 1031 (20.99%) votes.

Governor - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Perry 757,461 51.09%
Hutchison 449,632 30.33%
Medina 275,604 18.59%
Governor - D
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
White 516,621 75.99%
Shami 87,268 12.84%
Alvarado 33,708 4.96%
Aguado 19,556 2.88%
Glenn 9,852 1.45%
Dear 6,574 0.97%
Locke 6,298 0.93%
Lt. Gov. - D
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
314,725 53.15%
Earle 205,057 34.63%
Katz 72,367 12.22%
Land Comm. - D
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Uribe 292,486 51.72%
Burton 273,034 48.28%
Ag. Comm. - D
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Gilbert 310,762 52.32%
Friedman 283,249 47.68%
Railroad Comm. - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Porter 732,065 60.70%
Carrillo 474,067 39.30%
Supreme Court of Tx Pl. 9 - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Guzman 720,861 65.27%
Vela 383,642 34.73%
Supreme Court of Tx Pl. 3 - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Green 212,642 18.94%
Lehrmann 204,466 18.22%
Moseley 203,548 18.13%
Simmons 202,426 18.03%
Brown 187,639 16.72%
Strange 111,718 9.95%
State Board of Ed. Dist. 9 - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Ratliff 58,388 50.37%
McLeroy 57,528 49.63%
U.S. House Dist. 4 - R
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Ralph Hall 38,543 57.23%
Clark 20,091 29.83%
Cooper 3,616 5.37%
Hall 3,134 4.65%
Gigliotti 1,021 1.52%
Kowert 939 1.39%
Texas House Dist. 66 - R
House Dist. 66: Runoff
Pcts - 100% Votes %Votes
Jackson 5,616 41.05%
Taylor 4,581 33.48%
Richard 3,485 25.47%
The table at right gives the full results for a few state wide and a couple of local high interest contested races. For full Democratic and Republican Primary election results reported by the Collin County elections office - click here.
Election results were delayed Tuesday night in Collin County, where officials reported extremely heavy voting county wide. People waited in line more than an hour to vote in the Republican Primary after the polls closed at 7 p.m., according to reports from election officials.

Voter turnout in Collin County’s primary elections Tuesday was twice what officials expected, leading to long lines, a slow count and frustration among voters and candidates. (More DMN)
When the 2010 Collin County primary voter turnout data is fully analyzed, we will likely find that one quarter to one third of the Republican primary votes will have been cast by voters with a Democratic Party voting history, as was the case in the first week of early voting in Travis County:
In the largest Republican counties, the GOP turnout through Sunday February 21 was more than 5,000 votes higher than in the 2008 presidential primary when the GOP set its record 1.3 million voter turnout. Turnout was up in Harris, Tarrant, Travis, Collin, Denton and Williamson counties, but down in Dallas, Bexar, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties from the 2008 vote.

Almost 28 percent of the voters in the Republican primary in Travis County during the first week of early voting also voted in the 2008 primary election between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to figures from Democratic pollster Jeff Smith of Opinion Analysts Inc. []
Why did so many Democrats vote in the Republican Primary this year? The most common comment heard from Republican voting Democrats was that most believe Bill White had a lock on winning the Democratic Primary against Farouk Shami, so they decided to hedge their bet with a vote against Rick Perry. Most Democrats seem to have the idea that they could keep Perry off of the November 2010 General Election Ballot by helping KBH defeat Perry in the primary.

Democrats picked up this "defeat Perry now" narrative from many sources over the last few months. Here is an excerpt from a post in the The Prairie Fire Journal blog:
Texas Democrats have an opportunity to give Rick Perry an eight-month head start on his packing. If enough Democrats will crossover and vote in the Republican Primary on March 2, there's an excellent chance that Rick Perry will be knocked out of the 2010 governor's race before it even begins.

Democrats can do this. Knockout Perry at the get-go and that will dishearten his far-right base. If Hutchison wins the Republican Primary, the right won't be as enthusiastic about getting out the vote in November. By using this strategy, whether the Republicans win or the Democrats win the governorship, we will know for certain that Rick Perry will be gone.

[DBCC Editors note: Now that Perry has won the primary with 52% of the vote on the first round, after so many Democrats cross over to vote against him, will the right be more energized than ever and will Democrats be the ones feeling demoralized. No! -- I think Texas Democrats will be ready for a fight come November 2010.]
This blog originally started hearing this defeat Perry now narrative plant some time ago separately from Hutchison supporters and Shami supporters. The idea for Hutchison was that she could boost her numbers with Democratic votes without being seen to publicly court the Democratic vote. Overtly courting Democrats for their vote would have created problems for KBH as she tried to actively court conservative and tea bag voters. Shami also benefited from the cross over vote because Democrats who are more likely to cross over to vote in the Republican primary are the Democrats who are more likely to vote for Bill White. Suppressing the Bill White vote in the Democratic Primary improved Shami's chances to win against White -- although it seems not by very much.

The dubious defeat Perry now strategy has failed. Perry, Texas' longest-serving governor, had 51 percent of the vote compared to Hutchinson's 31 percent. GOP party activist Debra Medina, a favorite among many tea party voters, had about 18 percent. This is after Rasmussen polling had Perry pretty close to that 50% goal line just before election day.
A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Republican Primary voters found Perry leading Senate Kay Bailey Hutchison 48% to 27%, with Tea Party activist Debra Medina earning 16% of the vote. Nine percent (9%) of Texas GOP voters remain undecided.

The Rasmussen survey of likely voters also showed Rick Perry leading Bill White 47% to 41% in a head to head match up, while KBH led Bill White 47% to 38% in a gubernatorial match up. Three weeks ago, KBH had a 49% to 36% lead against White.
Everyone should remember that Perry and KBH have been campaigning for the governor's office for more than a year now. Bill White has only been running for the governor's office since early December 2009. White is well funded and he has put together one of the best statewide Democratic campaign organizations since Ann Richards ran for governor. White has an excellent chance to easily overtake Perry between now and November 2010.

White, who earned high marks for his city's response to the Hurricane Katrina evacuation, wisely spent the prime season listening to voter's real concerns about the future of Texas as the Republican Primary candidates chased each other to the extreme right. He used the time to air television ads introducing himself to a statewide audience and generally kept his campaign on a positive path. White has been running a well managed general election campaign since he announced for governor in early December.

Collin Co. Cumulative Early Vote Totals
Date Daily
Vote Total
0 0 0 0 0
Tue 2/16/2010 9 1,727 1,727 149 149
Wed 2/17/2010 9 1,581 3,308 187 336
Thu 2/18/2010 9 1,595 4,903 172 508
Fri 2/19/2010 9 1,927 6,830 187 695
Sat 2/20/2010 12 2,320 9,150 231 926
Sun 2/21/2010 5 781 9,931 99 1,025
Mon 2/22/2010 12 1,976 11,907 199 1,224
Tue 2/23/2010 12 2,269 14,176 214 1,438
Wed 2/24/2010 12 2,713 16,889 257 1,695
Thu 2/25/2010 12 3,547 20,436 374 2,069
Fri 2/26/2010 12 6,642 27,078 589 2,658