Linda Chavez-Thompson: "Responsabilidad"

Goal ThermometerWhy am I a Democrat? Because I never feel more proud to be an American than I do when I'm reminded that I live in a country with a storied history of embracing vast diversity.  I will always support a Party that protects this important value of our country.

Leaders like Linda Chavez-Thompson are walking success stories of the American Dream, a return on investment of the American value and beacon of hope for the future of our country. Linda Chavez-Thompson's story is one of dedication overcoming defeat, standing up instead of sitting down, and a commitment to progress over politics. 

These are the qualities of a public servant, not a politician.  These are the qualities of a person who will better our state.

Linda Chavez-Thompson is why I'm a Democrat.  What's your reason?

Help this ad stay on TV. Donate to Linda Chavez-Thompson today - and then go vote.

Texts from Last Night: Texas Election Night Edition

Wonder what the Texas political scene is going to look like on November 2nd?  Texts from Last Night has nothing on Texas's Texts from Election Night.  See if you can put an area code to a name in the texts below.

11/2/10 6:55 PM
(8683-2) You have five minutes left to VOTE! YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE! | Tiene cinco minutos para VOTAR! SU VOTO ES SU VOZ! Reply VOTE for polling locations.  -

11/2/10 6:56 PM
(6689-07) Don't let the liberals take over!  You have five minutes left to make sure none of YOUR hard-earned money gets spent on illegals. Reply YES to sign your soul to the Republican party.  Reply STOP to stop gay marriage for good. -


11/2/10 6:02 PM
(713) Where are U?  UR staff said meet at Kinky's ranch in Wimberly?
11/2/10 6:37 PM
(BLOCKED) Sry Shamster, mistake - meant Game Ranch off 290
11/2/10 6:38
(713) my press secretary mustve read it wrong. see you l8r for VICTORY!!! bringing bedazzled CHI like u asked
11/2/10 7:14 PM
(512) just left the polls.  So excited to give Perry the boot!  Where are you?
11/2/10 7:16 PM
(512) drinking at my house
11/2/10 7:16 PM
(512) cool, going anywhere tonight to celebrate?
11/2/10 7:17 PM
(512) He'll no, that's like going out on Valentine's Day to celebrate being alone.
(512) I meant he'll.
(512) Damnit!! Hell
11/2/10 1:25 AM
(512) why are you so mean?
11/2/10 8:35 PM
(713) Hola amiga, buena suerte tonight.
11/2/10 8:45 PM
(210) It's a little late for Latino outreach, amigo. 
11/2/10 9:05 PM
(214) I told you those polls were right.
11/2/10 9:15 PM
(512) Only 85% of precints are reporting, stop writing the eulogy before its over!!!
11/2/10 11:45 PM
(512) my bastterey s dieying..whrer r u@? we r drownng ou rsorrows @sholz.

11/2/10 11:45 PM
(BLOCKED)  We did it!  Thanks for all your help.  You're a great Texan and friend.
11/2/10 11:57
(202) Don't thank me, it's your deficit now.

Q: What's spookier than Republicans?

A:  Democrats dressing up like them!

Come by the Texas Democratic Party's Young Professional Council's Political Halloween Costume Contest tonight from 7:30 - 10 PM at the Dogwood on West 6th.  Since I'm judging the contest, theoretically I should be dressed up as a terrible Republican judge but I wasn't able to get my law degree in time.


Mean Pre-Weekend Roundup

Statesman: I'm feeling a bit conflicted by this cool slideshow of the Austin skyline at ACL over the years, given my fasciation with the changing Austin skyline and my "not in my town" attitude about ACL.  But I always love a good before and after, so it's worth checking out.

Michelle's Blog: Ever have one of those "I wish I wrote that" moments?  Yeah, well, I often have that moment when I read Michelle Greer (@michellegreer), particularly her latest post, Dear Gowalla, It's Not You, It's Me.  Brilliant, funny and -- I'm gonna say it -- some social good.  I've slowed in my use of both Foursquare and Whrrl but don't even have the Gowalla app on my iPhone.

Bazaarvoice: "Do you have Mickey Mouse waffles?" What question is your target audience - be it political or otherwise? - asking that you're not answering?

Washington Post: "If people approached air travel the way they approach major surgery - is your pet healthy enough to fly, young enough to fly? - pets would fly a lot more safely," said Farris. (Disclosure: I work for

WSJIs it gin o'clock yet?  Why yes, it is.  Have a great weekend.  I'm headed to Montreal for a work conference and won't be back till Thursday, so I apologize in advance if things get dusty around here (or more dusty than usual).  You can always follow me on Twitter here.

Shameless plug:  While we're on the subject of public relations, I'll be speaking on Thursday, Oct. 28th at Texas State University's Mass Communications Week on a panel called "New Rules of PR: Game Changing Tips and Tools from the Trenches."  Thanks to LuAnn Glowacz (@luannsaid) of Wordcove and Jenna Oltersdorf (@jennasnacks) of Snackbox for the invite.  I'll try not to embarrass you--oh who am I kidding?

Itching to vote? Here's one ballot you can cast now.

This is a really cool project that the Texas Observer is trying to win a grant for:  $5000 to enable a citizen journalism network (iObserve) to enable citizens to track and report on the legislative process.

The deadline is today and they're not far off from winning.  Unfortunately, the voting process is completely tedious -- so you'll need to pay close attention to the voting rules below.

I know, I know - no one ever said voting was easy.


FIRST! Read the info below for help in navigating the voting. It’s a bit of a haul but our appreciation is boundless. YOU MUST VOTE FOR 3 TO 5 PROJECTS FOR YOUR VOTE TO COUNT. There are plenty of great ideas.

FIRST:  Click here.  You will then need to register for an account.

1. After registering, you’ll get a password emailed to you. Follow the link, log in and go to the Project Gallery (click on Projects tab).

2. The project is called The Texas Observer Citizen Networking. It’s on the 4th page. Another way to find it to type Texas Observer in the keyword search under the Issues & Regions tab.

3. To vote, check the box under the project title labeled Vote for this project: ___ FACT Social Justice Challenge. Vote for at least 2 other projects.

"For all you naysayers..."

This is a curious video (which only shows, shouting muscled man after shouting muscled man, one woman whispering from a bed).

I think it's meant to inspire voters/activists just makes me feel empty.  We're supposed to get motivated by movie stars and fictional heroes?  Someone ought to show this to Bill White.  I know he likes "just being Bill" but it's time to start getting passionate about why he's here.  That's not my job.  It's his.


Government for sale or rent...

Rick Perry is king of the Capitol.

Write your own ACL rant!

Update:  Now you can plug your own nouns/verbs into this handy-dandy ACL Rant generator and make your own!

Omar Gallaga has a great "Write your own ACL review" post up over on his blog at the Statesman.  But what if your ACL experience is miserable?  There are about 75,000 reasons why that might happen.  So for those of you who hate ACL, or have an awful time, allow me to do your heavy lifting.

(Expletive) ACL!!

I was so freaking stoked to go to ACL this year because (Band name 1) is totally one of my favorite bands.  At first I didn't want to go because (name of 70's band) is completely lame but come on, (Band name 1) was also playing!  So last (week/month/year) I found a three-day pass to ACL on Craigslist for a total deal -- just (dollar amount over $100).  Unfortunately, not only was the Craigslist seller a (noun) but (she/he) also smelled like a rotting (vegetable).  On my way back from picking up the tickets, I got stuck in traffic on (any major thoroughfare in Austin) for (number over 30) minutes.  FML.  Anyway, after that unpleasantness, I really thought I could just kick back and enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Perfect weather, hot (preferred opposite sex), raging afterparties.  Zilker Park, here I come.
Since I had (number over 5) friends staying with me in my studio apartment for the weekend, we all decided to pile into the (hybrid car manufacturer) to head down to Zilker Park on (weekend) morning.  We looked for parking for (number over 60) minutes and finally gave up.  We ended up parking at (business location north of 35th Street) and walked the rest of the way.  Luckily the weather wasn't too (adjective)
When we got there, we stood in line for (number) hours, until we finally got in.  We got an awesome spot but it was right behind a (type of intoxication) dude.  So annoying. Then (girl's name) was thirsty so I went to stand in line with her for a (alcoholic beverage).  We stood in line for (number over 2) hours and spent (dollar amount over $20) for just two (alcoholic beverages).  What sucked is that I totally missed (band name 1) play while we were in line and that was the whole reason I wanted to go in the first place!  I mean, I didn't spend (dollar amount over $100) on wristbands to stand in line all day!!

Well at that point, the sky got all (color) and the wind started blowing a lot of (noun) around.  We were completely (verb).  Everyone was trying to find cover, people were passing out, some people just started to (verb) because why the heck not.  WTF, Austin?  I didn't know it could go from (temperature) to (temperature) in such a short amount of time but it did and it was (adjective).  (Girl's name) didn't really mind the weather, though, and she said that she liked the (noun) in Austin so much that she's thinking about moving here next (month)
Anyway, to summarize: I missed (band name), got covered in (noun), waited in (number over 5) lines for (number over 15) hours total and spent (dollar amount over $300) in one weekend.  Oh and my car got towed.  Ugh.  Seriously, Austin.

It goes without saying that I'm not going back to ACL for at least (number) years.  From now on, I'm going to fly to (city) every year on this weekend and try to forget this ever happened.  Well, unless (band name) plays.  Then I might consider it.  

Everything's bigger in Texas.

A face only a mother could love.  The last U.S. Governor to hold this title?

You guessed it:  George W. Bush. 

Rick Perry is following in the missteps of greatness.

VOTE on November 2nd.

created by @PhilipKD.

Twitter's Influence on Texas Politics This Week

While Facebook might be topping the box office, it's Twitter, that 140-headed Medusa of a social network, that's been making waves in Texas political circles this week.  The Texas Tribune, fresh off their first-ever "tweet-up," had a wordy post today about Texas political campaign astroturfing, which the Statesman initially broke last week after a former Rick Perry employee had his anonymous pro-Perry Twitter account outed (notably, it was outed by an auto-tweet from another burgeoning social networking site started here in Austin called SocialSmack).  Phillip Martin (@phillipmartin) has more on this over at BOR.

Additionally, The Texas Observer's Melissa Del Bosque has a fascinating look at the use of Twitter across the border to keep citizens informed of cartel violence in Reynosa, Mexico.  It's certainly a new practical use of the service and one that Twitter, as a company, has shown a strong commitment to fostering.   Earlier this year, Twitter swiped former Google employee Katie Stanton (@katies) from the State Department to head up their international strategy.

Also this week, the Austin American Statesman's tech writer, Omar Gallaga (@omarg), had a front page story about the Governor's race and how both candidates are leveraging social media to get ahead.  Before the story went to print last week, I happened to ask some questions on Twitter about Rick Perry's tendency to "block" progressive bloggers from following him on Twitter.  In the spirit of the influence of Twitter, it seemed only appropriate to point out that a simple conversation on Twitter ended up adding to the story itself:
[Perry] says he blocks Twitter users who attack him with bad language, but he's also blocked a few progressive bloggers, according to a Twitter list kept by Katherine Haenschen of the Democratic news site Burnt Orange Report. When a Twitter user blocks someone else, the user's tweets no longer appear in that blocked person's stream of messages, and the blocked person is no longer on the user's list of followers.
The conversation of how that paragraph came to be is below.


Hot or Not: Rick Perry's Ugly Governing

While Governor Perry funnels money via a fancy-sounding, taxpayer-funded technology fund into the pockets of his biggest campaign contributors, our focus turned to a much more serious issue today: Are Perry’s looks a factor in winning over the female vote?

That’s the question being asked by the Houston Chronicle’s Peggy Fikac today. Fikac’s pieces are typically much stronger, so I was surprised to see this come up at all:
When a poll by a group of newspapers including the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle showed that about 50 percent of women likely to vote favor GOP Gov. Rick Perry — compared to 40 percent for Democratic challenger Bill White - some called it a testament to Perry's looks.
Fikac goes on to quote the anonymous, pro-Perry blog “Rick vs. Kay,” who speculates that “Rick is who [women] wish their husbands looked like at age 60.”

I don’t know who writes Rick vs. Kay, but I’d wager he (yes, the writer is definitely a he) doesn’t know much about Texas women. Not only can a good portion of us saddle a horse with more confidence than Rick Perry crawls out of bed with every morning, but we also don’t vote with our libidos. If that was the case, we’d have a whole lot more Rafael Anchias and a lot less Leo Bermans.

But, let's get down to the real issue behind this whole "Women will vote for Rick Perry because he's better looking" whisper campaign.  It's really just a weak attempt to justify the fact that the only reason a man has ever stopped to even listen to the words coming out of Sarah Palin's mouth is because she looks like a librarian who's just dumb enough to get it on in the library and just hot enough to make it worth their time.  So there you go, Rick vs. Kay.  Two can play at that game.

Female voters -- and I’m going to venture to say that this goes across party lines -- vote using two things: their brains and their hearts. If a woman thinks that someone has her best interest in mind, and feels that his or her heart is in the right place, then they’re going to support them. And if we happen to notice that Rick Perry, who doesn’t believe women deserve a place at the table, consistently excludes women from his fundraisers and outreach, then we’re not going to vote for him no matter how good he looks in a pair of Wrangler’s.

The audacity to live in a $10,000-a-month rental mansion during a $21 billion dollar budget shortfall?  Pay-for-play appointees?  Rick Perry can manscape all he wants, but it's his governing that's ugly.