Thursday, May 25, 2006
DVO Whistlestop Report 4 Gonzales-Seguin
Driving into Gonzales, it was a thrill to see the big "Come and Take It" flag waving from a pole at the edge of town. It is of course, a replica of the battle flag the Gonzales townspeople raised in 1835 in response to the Mexican Army demand to surrender their one cannon.
It was an even bigger thrill seeing the gorgeous old Gonzales county courthouse. Gonzales County was formed by legislation of the Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1842. Solemn relics from that time are seen in the hallways and byways of the courthouse.
A sizeable audience was waiting for us in the courthouse. The County Judge moved us into the big main courtroom to accommodate the crowd.
It seemed appropriate to me to draw a parallel to the town's history. I told them that just as the people of Gonzales fired the first shot in a revolution against tyranny, we the people of Texas today have to win a revolution against the tyranny of corporate government that we are living under now. There were many smiles and claps, and these assembled residents of Gonazales County clearly liked what they heard. The audience was a rainbow of old, young, male, female, Anglo, Latino, and African-American. But really, they were all just Texans together, sick and tired of the theft of democracy.
From Gonzales we went on to Seguin. We were met by a group of townspeople in the town square across the street from the courthouse. They waited for us for nearly a half hour, as a slow caravan of 18-wheelers caused our drive on the 2-lane highway from Gonzales to go at a speed of 45 and caused what should been a half-hour drive to take nearly an hour. The local AM radio station was also there and conducted interviews.
Seguin is another of the old towns steeped in Texas independence history. It is named for Juan Seguin, one of the heroes of the Texas war of independence. Juan Seguin is the most prominent figure in the 3-century line of one of the old Spanish families that settled Tejas in the early 1700s. Before he was 30 years old, he was the first person to circulate a pamphlet calling for the inhabitants of Texas to rise against the dictatorial usurper Santa Anna and achieve independence. He was one of the leaders of the Texan forces in the successful siege of Bexar (San Antonio) in December 1835. He was at the Alamo, but Col. Travis ordered him to slip through the Mexican lines and depart to seek more reinforcements. He commanded a company at San Jacinto and became a Senator of the Texas Republic. The memorial to him, near to which we met this afternoon, is beautiful and moving.
The townspeople of Seguin with whom we met this afternoon were just as responsive to the message as everybody else with whom we met all day long and the day before in the other towns we visited. They want it back, and this year on November 7 they're going to take it back.
posted by snarko! at 10:31 AM
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
DVO Whistlestop Report 3 Goliad
Our first stop this morning was Goliad, one of the most historical Texas towns. Goliad County is one of the 35 original counties of the Republic of Texas. After Santa Anna's defeat at San Jacinto, the commanding general of the rest of the Mexican army tendered the army's surrender to Texan forces in Goliad County. Goliad was also the site, of course, of the well known Goliad Massacre.
We had quite a welcoming committee. The County Judge, the Mayor, the Sheriff, the Justice of the Peace, and the editor of the local newspaper The Texan Express, plus about 15 local townspeople including some self-described "staunch" Republicans. The Mayor is the president of the Goliad Democrats Club.
After hearing us speak, one fellow raised his hand, said, "I'm a landman and a lifelong Republican, and I like what I'm hearing, and y'all have got my vote." Another man then spoke up, "Lots of us Republicans are tired of what's going on and are voting Democratic this year"
The newspaper editor was enthused. He hung around and took lots of pictures. He insisted on as many people as could squeezing into several group photos for the paper.
The Sheriff told me he usually heads up the local Democratic Party straight-ticket GOTV drive. He said he is going to work it harder this year than he ever has because the country cannot stand any more Republican power grabbing.
The people like the message of people taking their government back. It resonates. I truly believe something extraordinary is going on beneath the radar screens of the pundits and pollsters. They think it's just about G.W. Bush personally. They are very wrong.
The RNC a few days ago sent out an impassioned fundraising solicitation for TX Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Dewhurst already has millions and Maria Luisa Alvarado has pennies. But they are worried, they are very worried, and with good reason.
My opponent Greg Abbbott is setting up fundraising receptions around the state and doing a lot of arm twisting for hosts and sponsors. He already had 5.7 million dollars as of December. Yes they are very worried. Good. I hope the oil companies give Abbott billions to try to beat me. They will give him every penny they can if they want to keep their greed river flowing. It won't do them any good. The people are going to take their government back.
Thak you to the Daily Kos community for its support and encouragement. Fight 'em till hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice.
posted by snarko! at 9:38 AM
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
DVO Whistlestop Report 2 Karnes City
Karnes City and Karnes County are named for Henry Wade Karnes. The history marker at the courthouse says he was conspicuous for gallantry at Bexar, commanded a company at San Jacinto, and became a Texas Ranger in 1838 at age 26. There are portraits of him and Deaf Smith in the first floor hallway of the courthouse.
County Clerk Alva Jonas engaged me in a lengthy discussion. She says the turnout in the recent primaries was so low because people are so mad about the way things are going in the country and the state they refused to vote. (Talk about a huge "none of the above" vote!) She says one of the things people are so mad about is the electronic voting technologies.
She is the county election administrator. She and her staff normally call local registered voters every election just to remind their local citizens to vote. This time a lot of people told them, "NO." A lot of people espressed anger over the electronic machnines, she says, because they don't trust the machine to record their vote accurately when they have no paper ballot to prove how they voted. Ms. Jonas wants to go back to plain old paper ballots. She believes, as I do, that counting the votes in a democracy should be an open public process and should never have been contracted out to private enterprises.
I met Robbie Shortner, Democratic candidate for Karnes County District Clerk, who has a Republican opponent in the general election. She appreciated my telling her I'm proud to be on the ticket with her. Democrats usually win the local elections around here, but you can never be sure and Robbie is taking nothing for granted. The present District Clerk is retiring after 25 years service and has endorsed Robbie to succeed her.
I did a short walk around the courthouse square and introduced myself to local store owners. I told each one that I want to do something about the greedy oil companies and stop them from walking all over us. I asked each person to help me take on the oil companies. Each one smiled and told me good luck and they hoped I win. The owner of Sam's Tacos asked for literature to put out by her cash register. The owner of the little pharmacy asked me if by doing something about the oil companies I was going to help poor people. I told her absolutely, that was the whole point. She said God bless you sir, I am for you 100%. Then she inisisted that I meet the customers who were in the store at the moment and give them my literature.
Maria Luisa Alvarado, our Texas Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, and Valinda Hathcox, our candidate for General Land Commissioner, are with me this trip. We 3 are a great coordinated campaign team. We fan out and spread the message to different people at the same time so that we cover more. We're all on the same page, on a mission to return Texas government to the people. It's going to happen, too.
Next stop Tilden, McMullen County. Rachel is driving, enabling meto blog and return phone calls. I wouldn't be anything without my spiritual partnership with her. We're a team.
posted by snarko! at 12:24 PM
DVO Whistlestop Report 1 Floresville
Floresville was great. Many local officials there to greet us warmly. The Sheriff, Mayor, District Attorney, County Clerk, County Treasurer, two County Commissioners, the local Democratic Chairman, and many townspeople. A City Councilman asked to join my statewide steering committee after I spoke, and I took him up on it. The District Attorney said my attack on Big Oil inspired him to get more involveed. Two newspapers were there. The Sheriff told me good luck, I'll help you all I can. Now on to Karnes City. Taking back Texas by taking it to the people!
posted by snarko! at 12:06 PM
South Texas Whistlestop "Live"
Well, as live as we can get it. Just got word that David's posting updates during the tour at DailyKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/5/23/75011/3524
And we'll be republishing here as fast as we can. Stay tuned.
posted by snarko! at 11:19 AM
Monday, May 22, 2006
South Texas Courthouse Whistlestop Tour this week
David Van Os will be in South Texas this week at a county courthouse near you. Don't miss your opportunity to hear what democracy sounds like!
David will be joined on this Tour by Lt. Governor candidate Maria Luisa Alvarado and Land Commissioner candidate VaLinda Hathcox.
|TUESDAY MAY 23 |
|8:30 AM ||FLORESVILLE, WILSON COUNTY |
|10:00 AM ||KARNES CITY, KARNES COUNTY |
|12:30 PM ||TILDEN, McMULLEN COUNTY |
|2:45 PM ||GEORGE WEST, LIVE OAK COUNTY |
|4:15 PM ||BEEVILLE, BEE COUNTY |
|WEDNESDAY MAY 24 |
|9:00 AM ||GOLIAD, GOLIAD COUNTY |
|10:30 AM ||CUERO, DEWITT COUNTY |
|12:15 PM ||HALLETTSVILLE, LAVACA COUNTY |
|2:45 PM ||GONZALES, GONZALES COUNTY |
|4:15 PM ||SEGUIN, GUADALUPE COUNTY|
posted by PDiddie at 5:45 AM
Saturday, May 20, 2006
DVO on Air America tomorrow morning
David Van Os discusses election issues on Air America Radio. Venue: See radio listing below Date/Time: May 21, 2006 :: 10:30 AM Web: http://airamerica.com Austin: 1600 AM Dallas: 910 AM San Antonio: 103.1 FM
That would be Central time for those of you outside Texas reading this.
Listen live at the link above if you can't get AA in your market.
posted by PDiddie at 8:29 AM
Monday, May 15, 2006
DVO Far West Texas Tour 5/16, 17
Tuesday May 16
Hudspeth County Courthouse, Sierra Blanca, 2:30 p.m.
Culberson County Courthouse, Van Horn, 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday May 17
El Paso County Courthouse, El Paso, 2:00 p.m.
More events and reports from the tour added here as they are scheduled.
posted by PDiddie at 5:53 AM
Friday, May 12, 2006
How long has this been a 'Constitutional Crisis'?
The Bush administration came clean this week and told us that they had been spying on us. As you may remember, they had previously denied doing so, then said it was only international calls, then finally admitted it was all calls. Your calls, my calls, the calls of politicians, of reporters, of government officials, tens of millions of landline and cellular phone calls and probably our e-mail communications as well. Purely between Americans. They're all stored by a government agency in an attempt to "mine" that information for, they tell us again, "potential" ties between you and the terrorists. But don't worry, the president says, the government would never misuse the data they've collected on us. Three telecommunications companies -- AT&T, which recently changed its name from SBC, and is headquartered in San Antonio; and Verizon and BellSouth -- apparently allowed the NSA to monitor all calls passing through their lines. One company, Qwest, declined to participate. They thought that it might be illegal. Republicans expressed as much shock and outrage as Democrats. Senator Dianne Feinstein said: "We are approaching a constitutional confrontation."
Well, if the Washington politicians had been paying attention a few months ago, they could have heard David Van Os say that. In fact, David was calling it a "Consitutional Crisis" even before Al Gore was. And in February, David challenged incumbent attorney general and corporate shill Greg Abbott to protect Texans against illegal federal wiretapping:
"I think this is a matter where the people of Texas have a right to know your views. They have a right to know if their elected attorney general views such important issues the same way Alberto Gonzales and George Bush do, or if he will stand by their fundamental rights to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into their personal phone calls."
The Attorney General is given broad power in the Texas Constitution to bring marauding corporations to heel. He can file a lawsuit on behalf of all Texans restraining their activities which are in violation of the law. And every legal expert agrees that wiretapping without a warrant is against the law. So is there anything can you do to prevent your government from continuing to spy on you? Sure is. First, contact AT&T and Verizon and BellSouth if you're their customer and tell them to stop sharing your information with the feds. Second, call Greg Abbott's office and ask him when he intends to do his job and demand that the big phone companies stop breaking the law.
And third, you can vote in November for an Attorney General who will fight to protect your civil rights from a federal government and big companies who want to keep taking them away.
posted by PDiddie at 4:05 PM
Friday, May 05, 2006
Greg Abbott referees a catfight between Grandma and MoFo
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took a break from the weighty responsibilities of protecting Texas consumers this week and provided a constitutional opinion on the catfight between the Governor and the Comptroller.
Specifically, on the legality of the investigation by Carole Strayhorn's office into the viability of Rick Perry's Texas Residential Construction Commission. Strayhorn had taken a look into the TRCC (pronounced 'trick'), called it a 'builder protection agency' and declared, "If it were up to me personally, I would blast this Texas Residential Construction Commission off the bureaucratic books."
Abbott said Strayhorn had no business investigating the TRCC unless Perry asked her to do so -- which he hadn't. Both grandstanding Republicans claimed that members of the Lege asked them to look into TRCC, and Strayhorn challenged Abbott to sue her: "(I)f the attorney general wants to take me to court, let's go," she said.
Texans already knew that the two Republicans running for Governor don't have anything more important to do than trade petty insults, but the real shocker is that our Attorney General has inserted himself in the political one-upsmanship. After all, it's not like the man who went to the United States Supreme Court to argue the case for a monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state Capitol has a political agenda or anything.
And that's when Abbott can be bothered to do anything at all on behalf of Texas consumers.
John Cobarruvias, President of HADD Texas (Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings) said, "I find the Attorney General's opinion hollow at best. If his office had investigated the homebuilding industry when asked by consumers, the Commission wouldn't have been necessary, much less the Comptroller's investigation of it." Cobarruvias claims to have personally delivered complaints to the AG's office and was greeted with profound indifference.
Is anybody else completely fed up with this crap?
Six months to go before we get the chance to elect responsible representation in Austin.
posted by PDiddie at 8:25 AM