"Nothing Good is Going to Happen"

I finally found some time over the long weekend, after I drove back from Port Aransas, walked my dog, did my laundry, tidied up my house, met a friend for drinks and caught up on The Office, to watch Senator Kirk Watson's "Honesty Agenda" that was filmed a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, all thirty minutes of it.

Despite the catchy title of the speech, I'm not going to lie to you: this is super boring.  I've seen buffet lines that were more exciting.  But, as boring as it is, this video -- or, more accurately, the topic of our state's budget crisis and the reform that needs to happen in the budget-writing process -- is also important.  So when you've done all you can do at the end of the day sometime this week, skip an episode of Modern Family on Hulu and consider watching this instead.  Your friends will probably laugh at you (or stage an intervention) but at least you'll walk away with a better grasp of what caused the budget shortfall and where we could (but likely won't) go from here to solve it.

Strongest point:

"They say 'There's no hope?' 'This is just the way it has to be under these circumstances?'
I say that's the same sort of deception and irresponsibility that got us here.
They say 'We're the victims of these uncertain times?'
I say they're the cause of them.
No one, no matter how conservative, should feel good about brutal cuts that would potentially put teachers out of their jobs, packing kids into classrooms and undercutting their ability to learn there."


Book Smart

For just under $50, Amazon.com will bundle Governor Perry's new book Fed Up! along with George W. Bush's new pageturner, Decision Points, and Sarah Palin's America By Heart.  Sarah's is priced, naturally, the lowest -- perhaps the alternative title should have been "Doin' Equal Pay Proud."

Looking for something more?  For another $1.08 trillion, Amazon.com will also bundle both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for you.

From our Texas Republican disasters to yours, happy holidays, America.

Giving Thanks

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when a large portion of my family crowds into a tiny vehicle, heads south to Port Aransas and spends the weekend staring at the Texas coastline while we eat handfuls of roasted nuts and have pie for breakfast.

We have a great time.  But no Thanksgiving trip to Port Aransas would be complete without the rest of my family watching a corny movie on TV while I write my annual Thanksgiving post, which I've been writing (thankfully) for five years now (2006 here and here, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

I'm always thankful for all the riches and loves in my life, but this year, I feel like there have been two hallmarks that have changed my outlook of the world around me entirely.  For two thousand and ten, I can sum up what I'm most thankful for in two pictures:


Buying a house six months ago was one of the best things I've done in my life.  It makes me happy every day in subtle ways that have given "it," or as I call it, Julius, a personality.  When I come home after a long day at work and find my rosebush blooming, when I hear mariachi music coming from the steps of a nearby church after a Catholic wedding, when I open my door and hand out popsicles to the neighborhood children, when I found a can of paint called "Golden Retriever" in the bathroom -- all of this has made me keenly aware that my house has a soul.  Call me crazy but it's there, and I've enjoyed living in Julius and finding that the soul of Julius now lives in me.


I can't talk about Charlie without talking about my first Golden Retriever, Gus, who died of cancer in July of 2007.  Gus was my best friend from age 13 onward, and when he passed, I was just hitting my early twenties, apartment-bound and always on the go.  Despite the fact that I've worked at a company where you can bring your dog to work every day for almost five years now, I haven't had another dog since Gus.  But when I knew I was going to buy a house, I applied online with a Golden Retriever rescue group based in Houston.  They told me to keep checking the list of adoptable Goldens and a week after I moved into my house, I saw Charlie on their website.  More accurately, I read a description of Charlie and emailed to see if they had any photos.  As soon as I saw his picture (the one above) I was sold.  How could I not want this smiling furball in my life?  Since I adopted him in August, he's dragged me around East Austin for his walks every day, curled up at my feet on chilly evenings, accompanies me to work (just like Gus did when we worked at the horse barn) and fit snugly into a place in my heart, right next to Gus. 

Finally, I feel like it's important to also give thanks for what makes both of these things possible: my job, which challenges me and always gives back to me as much as I give to it.  I'm thankful that my career path, such as it is, has led me to where I am.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend and that you, too, have much to be thankful for.

The Best Speech Texas Democrats Never Heard

Today in history, on November 22, 1963, the best speech Texas Democrats never heard was never delivered.

Today in history, on November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was scheduled to give this speech in Austin.

I am a blogger so, naturally, I've edited it for space.  But you can read it here in full -- and I recommend you take the time to do so if you haven't before. I've also taken the liberty to embolden some of my favorite parts.


One hundred and eighteen years ago last March, President John Tyler signed the Joint Resolution of Congress providing statehood for Texas. And 118 years ago this month, President James Polk declared that Texas was a part of the Union. Both Tyler and Polk were Democratic Presidents. And from that day to this, Texas and the Democratic Party have been linked in an indestructible alliance--an alliance for the promotion of prosperity, growth, and greatness for Texas and for America.

Next year that alliance will sweep this State and Nation.

The historic bonds which link Texas and the Democratic Party are no temporary union of convenience. They are deeply embedded in the history and purpose of this State and party. For the Democratic Party is not a collection of diverse interests brought together only to win elections. We are united instead by a common history and heritage--by a respect for the deeds of the past and a recognition of the needs of the future. Never satisfied with today, we have always staked our fortunes on tomorrow. That is the kind of State which Texas has always been--that is the kind of vision and vitality which Texans have always possessed--and that is the reason why Texas will always be basically Democratic.

For 118 years, Texas and the Democratic Party have contributed to each other's success. This State's rise to prosperity and wealth came primarily from the policies and programs of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Those policies were shaped and enacted with the help of such men as the late Sam Rayburn and a host of other key Congressmen--by the former Texas Congressman and Senator who serves now as my strong right arm, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson--by your present United States Senator, Ralph Yarborough--and by an overwhelming proportion of Democratic leadership at the State and county level, led by your distinguished Governor, John Connally.

It was the policies and programs of the Democratic Party which helped bring income to your farmers, industries to your cities, employment to your workers, and the promotion and preservation of your natural resources. No one who remembers the days of 5-cent cotton and 30-cent oil will forget the ties between the success of this State and the success of our party.


For this country is moving and it must not stop. It cannot stop. For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a party is not to our party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed., to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.

So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation's future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause--united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future--and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.

Tina Fey on Sarah Palin

This whole acceptance speech by Tina Fey is just brilliantly funny but apparently PBS cut a bit about Sarah Palin out.  I can see why.  There was clearly a contingency of conservatives clapping during the long pauses in between her sentences favoring Palin and, to quote Austin Powers, it got weird.  It starts around 12:30 but the whole speech is worth watching.

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.


I'm struggling with something rather personal. 

I don't know whether I can read Decision Points.

A few weeks ago,  I met up with some friends at a bar in Austin.  The flat-screen TV's were showing some football game that people around us were watching, off and on.  At some point, my attention turned to the screen as I realized that they were promoting a clip from Matt Lauer's interview with George W. Bush about his new book.

I was captivated, spellbound.  And, as I looked around me, I realized everyone was, too.  There was a group of people standing up to leave, about eight of them, and they all paused what they were doing -- putting an arm through the sleeve of a jacket, opening a purse to dig for keys, swigging the last ounce of Fireman's Four -- and watched.  It was as if someone had yelled "Freeze!" during a game of tag and they became statues, almost as if they were afraid to move, stopped in their tracks by a man who, last we heard from him, was the receiving end of a tennis shoe.

He's different than President Obama.  What power Obama had during the election, all his "Elvis," has worn off.  Our President now proselytizes or lectures and most people don't pay him much attention, as far as I can tell, in a 24-hour news cycle.  In this age of pundits and cable TV, it's easier to pay closer attention to those who filter Obama for the masses, awash in either a positive or negative light.

But Bush is different.  He's a car crash of epic proportions, so grizzly that you can't bring yourself not to look at it.  And for every time I think to myself "I can't read that book," part of me thinks "I have to."  There's a certain part of human nature that wants to observe, hit the brakes just a little bit, peer out the windows, just to see if you can make some sense out of a pile of twisted metal and rubble.  In this case, I'm no longer looking for dead bodies left lying in the road -- I'm just looking for answers as to how they got there.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is beginning to feel the holiday spirit as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

Off the Kuff discusses the issue of Latino turnout in the wake of last Tuesday's elections.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy takes in the landscape after the storm and presents a way forward for Texas Democrats. Left of College Station also begins the Texas Legislature Watch by looking at the bills that Representative Fred Brown has pre-filed. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

Letters From Texas explained a fundamental truth to state Senator Dan Patrick: democracy is about more than two wolves and one sheep voting on what's for dinner.

Killing medicaid and CHIP along with Grandma and the kids will devastate the Texas economy. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why the evil Heritage Foundation wants to hurt the Texas economy.

Mean Rachel wondered when the Democratic Party decided to become the I Can't Believe It's Not Republican Party.

Bay Area Houston says the GOP is giving poor Hispanic kids the bird.

Over at TexasKaos, libby shaw gives her take on "Fixing the Federal Deficit" or rather how NOT to do it while distracting a nation. Check it out : Fixing the Federal Deficit.

Neil at Texas Liberal says that where there is smoke you will not inherently find fire. Yet the smoke alone may be enough to do a great deal of damage.

This week at McBlogger, Captain Kroc takes a look at one of the newest members of the Texas Legislature.

Oh really?

It's hard to tell in the above quote, tweeted by the Quorum Report, if Straus is referring to the Speaker's race or the Republican Party's strategy of running Latinos for State Representatives and then immediately filing Arizona-style immigration reform.

The Crisis of Character in the Democratic Party

When did the Texas Democratic Party lose its flavor?

Between the Blue Dogs, the Rose-ian “I’m tough on immigration” ads and the shying away from our President – who, I’ll remind you, is the last person who actually energized the Democratic Party -- we aren’t the Democratic Party anymore.  We're simply a group of people constantly reacting to the demands of a radical right.

I’ve got to hand it to the Republicans. At their heart, caricatures like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell only serve to define Republicans like Rick Perry as smart, practical leaders. If you’re used to seeing a sequined political figure doing the cha-cha, a potential Presidential candidate who wrote a book seems downright cultured. And it’s not a far leap from the seemingly acceptable ideology of many Republicans – anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage, pro-life – to the hairy under-armpits of the Mama Grizzly platform. As long as you can take at least one tiny step away from that, you’re a beacon for Republican radicals everywhere, somewhere just off the coast of crazy.

But these characters also give Democrats an opportunity to form characters of their own and a formula for what gets people's attention. Is it really that there are no voters left out there who believe that the premise of “terror babies” is a cultural fallacy as fake as the Botox-infused mouth it’s being spewed from? Or is it that Democrats have just stopped allowing our own true believers to make a counter argument -- or, better yet, a counter offer -- in a more compelling way? 

Democrats in Texas have a problem. Weak, flavorless and not good for cooking, the Democratic Party – particularly in Texas – has tried to blend in so much that we’ve lost our relevancy. We’re the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Republican Party. We were so afraid someone would stop and notice we were Democrats that we forgot one thing: we couldn’t make voters forget about the (D) next to each one of our candidates. "We're not crazy like them, but we're kinda' like them" is a fool's strategy.

"But we need the moderates." Who are these moderates, and where did they get us? They certainly didn’t get our Democrats elected. Our campaigns are over.  Most of our people now aren’t in office. And frankly, that’s how it should be. Because if you can’t embrace our President, then how can voters know that when the chips are down, you’re going to embrace the children of our state who go without health insurance? If you can’t stand up for your own Party’s beliefs, then who is going to go to the ballot box and stand up for you?

The Democratic Party is suffering from an atrophy of character. We have lost any conceivable moderates to attrition, because the Republican Party at least has the ability to define who it is – regardless of the fact that they’re the drunk guy at the holiday party, at least everyone remembers that guy’s name. Our fixation on “the bad guys” does no good if we’re not worth listening to in the first place. We need deliberately distinct leaders and we need to be unabashedly unafraid to support those leaders in bringing back the fundamentals of what matters to Democrats and -- as one insider so eloquently put it recently -- "the tangible consequences of voting for them." 

And if you’re shaking your head at all this saying "No, that won't work" then what will? We already tried it your way.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance remains committed to moving forward as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is still reeling from the republican blowout. Say goodbye to your Social Security and hello to Warren Chisum in your bedroom.

Off the Kuff starts to discuss a way forward from this election.

There was some good, some bad, and some ugly in last Tuesday's election returns. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the deets.

After Tuesday's Demageddon, Mean Rachel offers some advice as to what political candidates should do with their social media accounts after losing an election.

Len Hart at BlueBloggin has a few words on Election Postmortem: A Picture of Dorian Gray It is said that insanity is repeating a failed strategy in the expectation of one day getting a different result. Because that never happens, the nation is nuts! Just enough people always vote against their own interests to guarantee that wealth will continue to ‘trickle up’...

Andy Wilson over at Public Citizen's TexasVox wants to point out that members of Congress who lost their re-election in Texas all had one thing in common: Opposition to climate change legislation.

TXsharon who blogs at Bluedaze recently flew to EPA headquarters in North Carolina to present four case studies of health impacts caused by natural gas extraction in the Barnett Shale. She met with the top rule makers in the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards who are working on new rules for the oil and gas industry. They said it was "incredibly strong evidence."

A day after the election, Letters From Texas identified dark clouds on the horizon for victorious Republicans. Later in the week, he detailed the first cloud up to bat: the state budget.

Lightseeker, over at TexasKaos tries to figure out where we are and where we go next, after the mid-terms. Check it out.

While things were rough at the ballot box in the northern hemisphere, in Brazil the political left won a third consecutive national victory. Even on the darkest days, there is always progress being made someplace in the world. (Via Texas Liberal)

After a campaign-work related hiatus, Capitol Annex returns to active blogging with a new look, a new logo, and this post addressing the growth of food service jobs in Texas and why the growth of low wage jobs sill eventually cause the Texas economy to grind to a halt.

Looks like Rick Perry and I agree on something.

From the New York Times' "Re-elected Texas Governor Sounding Like a Candidate":
And in defending states’ rights, [Perry] writes: “Texans, on the other hand, elect folks like me. You know the type, the kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning, packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with hollow-point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his daughter’s dog.”
I wrote this two days ago:
No, it wasn't a year for incumbent Democrats, but what can you expect from a state full of trophy hunters? Texans know what big game looks like and have an uncanny attraction to shiny objects. We prefer our candidates to come in special packages with leather trim and low mileage and who carry guns when they go jogging because we think that makes them special, like a King Ranch edition of Ford truck.
And this yesterday:
We live in Texas. Texans don't vote for suits, they vote for dudes who go skeet shooting. Even if those dudes are terrible Governors, "they go skeet shooting" is the takeaway that most people will remember.
Like it or not, Democrats, it's time to accept this reality and, gosh, I don't know, work with it.

Update: Texas Observer's Bob Moser zeroes in on how I've been feeling:
A few years back, when Southern Democrats everywhere were suffering much the same way Texas Democrats are today, I asked an organizer friend in North Carolina: What's the remedy for the Democrats' inability to beat the Republicans down South?
"Well, sh-t," he said. "They could try being Democrats."
A crushing defeat like Democrats suffered on Tuesday in Texas is also an opportunity. With nothing to lose, damn near literally, the Texas Democrats have a chance to build a new party from the bottom-up. If they can emphasize organizing over "strategy," if they can rethink their whole idea of what makes a good candidate and a good campaign, if they can convey a hearty belief in what their party stands for (aside from a different brand of fiscal conservatism), this state might yet have a two-party system. But it ain't going to happen tomorrow. Old habits die hard.

Tweet or Die: What Candidates Should Say Online After a Loss

The election is over and man, Democrats sure took a beating Tuesday night.  Since then, I've noticed a sharp drop-off in not only campaign ads and GOTV phone calls (hallelujah!), but a drying up of online activity among candidates who, a few days ago, were practically unlocking "Overshare" badges on Foursquare.  (Nerd reference, look it up.) 

I know there's resistance.  "I'm too exhausted/tired/sad/busy and don't have time." "My staff did that, and they're all gone now, so I'm just going to stay quiet for a while."  "The election is over, why should I bother?"  Simple:  Let your social accounts grow stale and you will lose your following.  It's as easy as that.  Tweet or die.

So with that in mind, here are some ways down-but-not-out Democrats can keep their post-election social strength up.  You're welcome.

1. Tell us what the HECK has happened to you since November 2nd.

I don't care if your only news is that your dog peed on the carpet on Election Night - if your last tweet is from November 2nd and says that polls close at seven, you need to update your Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Like, yesterday.  Otherwise, Billboard, I'm unfollowing you and probably unfollowing my interest in your future in Texas politics. 

2.  Collect feedback.

Since Tuesday night, I've heard a million and one reasons (some stronger than others) about why Democrats lost.  From consultants to bloggers to Monday morning quarterbacks, the suggestions and advice and "should haves" have been endless.  I don't believe in perfection and while some may chalk this cycle up to a national trend or a toxic environment, there has to be something that each campaign can learn from this election. I've been watching most of the Democrats I follow on Twitter and Facebook with a bit of a morbid curiosity to see if any of them asked the voters what they think could have been done differently, either within the campaign or on a larger scale.  Yes, we're just people who pull the lever (or, more accurately, turn the wheel), but we also see things that candidates -- and their campaign teams -- don't.  While the advice may not be something that could have changed the outcome of a historically bad election cycle, it could help down the road.  Storytime: 
One year, I completely stopped blockwalking for a campaign because they printed their walk sheets in a way that just listed all of the targeted houses for each street on one sheet of paper, rather than breaking it up between odd and even house numbers on two separate pieces of paper.  It made blockwalking confusing and it made it take forever.  I happened to mention it to the campaign manager after the election and he apologized, saying they had done it that way because they wanted to save money by saving paper.  But they also lost a blockwalker, which some might say is more valuable.

3.  Give thanks.

I can't tell you how many candidate's post-election emails I've read in the last two days that said "While I can't begin to thank everyone on my staff..."  Really?  Sure, you don't want to list off a gazillion names in a mass email to all of your supporters but let's talk about another great place where you can publicly thank people: Facebook.  Use the "@" symbol in a status update to tag those you want to thank -- you can tag up to six people in each one.  How about a status update a day until you list all your best staffers?  Or upload a photo of you and your staff and tag them in it with a simple "Thank you" in the caption.  Write a poignant note on Facebook and tag your staff. Find out which ones are on Twitter and mention them for #FollowFriday. Never underestimate the staying power of "Thank you."  It could come in handy the next time you want someone to answer your call.

4.  Start being a human again.

We live in Texas.  Texans don't vote for suits, they vote for dudes who go skeet shooting.  Even if those dudes are terrible Governors, "they go skeet shooting" is the takeaway that most people will remember.  There's a constant chatter in social media, PR and marketing worlds these days about "developing your personal brand."  Political candidates have a tough time with this and it's something they oftentimes only start working on when they decide to run for office.  Even then, these personal brands become veneers made up of what consultants or pollsters told them their brand should be, rather than the person they actually are.  The time to start a blog about your intense love of green energy isn't when you hire a campaign treasurer, it's when you realize you have an intense love of green energy.  If you're out there fighting for water rights every day, it's time to start letting people know nowTumblr and Posterous are free, easy-to-use platforms that make blogging as easy as sending an email or text message.  Start a video blog if you don't like to write.  Live tweet your City Council meetings.  If you care about education and you're an educator, post photos of your desk at school on Facebook.  Show your human side.  People vote for humans.  Don't let us forget about you.

The reason online organizing works is the same reason online organizing doesn't work:  it takes time to build a strong online base.  It's up to you to invest that time.  Whether you're planning to run for office again or you just want to crawl under a blanket with a pint of ice cream and hide out till January, candidates and past elected officials should stay connected with their social networks as much as possible.  After all, these people ultimately gave you one of the greatest gifts a citizen can: they voted for you.

Anatomy of a Winning Governor's Race

Coming to us from Colorado...Former Mayor John Hickenlooper aces it.

August, 2010

September, 2010

October, 2010

October, 2010

October, 2010
(Perhaps the strongest one)


Ready or Not, Here Comes Rick Perry

Crossposted on the Huffington Post. 

If your election night party is held at an exotic game ranch in Texas, what does that say about you?

It says you go for the kill.

The Wrangler-wearin', coyote-cappin', budget-bustin' Governor we had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that and -- well,  you get the idea -- has been elected again.  Becoming the longest-serving Governor in Texas history, Rick Perry got re-elected because Rick Perry goes for the kill.  And, ready or not, Rick Perry will become the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee for the very same reason.

For those in Texas who weren't getting paid to believe otherwise, Rick Perry's win wasn't much of a surprise.  Percentages might have varied but one thing was for certain:  Texans weren't ready, weren't even cattle-car close, to elect a Democrat as Governor.  Not this year, not after That One got into that big white mansion and sullied up, well, something.  Texans aren't too clear on the details down here but we hear it happened in Washington.

But Tuesday night's results were much worse than many ever believed possible.  Republicans took down countless (at press time) Democratic State House incumbents, longtime Democratic Congressional members like Chet Edwards, D-Waco, and left the others who didn't lose limping away with narrow margins.  It was a slaughter of epic proportions, gazelles being picked off from the herd, with the Republican party going for the weak and the elderly, the young and the slow. 

No, it wasn't a year for incumbent Democrats, but what can you expect from a state full of trophy hunters?  Texans know what big game looks like and have an uncanny attraction to shiny objects.  We prefer our candidates to come in special packages with leather trim and low mileage and who carry guns when they go jogging because we think that makes them special, like a King Ranch edition of Ford truck.  Texans went in to the voting booth Tuesday to pull the lever for the big game prize: straight ticket Republican with the twelve-point buck, Rick Perry, at the top.

But Rick Perry's not special.  In fact, he's really no different than our last Texas Governor who graced the White House, except for that this one's fantastically good at running the state into the ground.  Rick Perry will make sure that won't get talked about. Humility has never been one of Rick Perry's strong suits. What will get plenty of attention is that Rick Perry's Fed Up, according to the new book Perry took national as of, oh, ten seconds after he won Tuesday night.  But the book is just chum.  It's tossing out corn to distract from the issues at hand while he gets set up in his presidential deer blind, offering folksy, chest-puffing lines in his acceptance speech like "Texas [has] kinda' got a leg up on the rest of the country, gentlemen."  Well, saddle me surprised, Rick.  I thought Texas had a $25 billion-dollar budget deficit. Oh, wait, you weren't talking to me - because I'm a woman.

For many Democrats, their election cycle ended tonight.  But for the rest of America, the hunt for 2012 just began.  Rick Perry's already got it between the cross-hairs.

Blue Texas

Turns out, turning Texas blue is like trying to put lipstick on a pig:  it just squeals and runs away from you.

An Endorsement

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're planning on voting tomorrow.  You believe we all have a voice, and that, if used together, our collective voices can empower change.

So I'm not going to tell you to vote tomorrow.  You already know that.

Chances are also likely that, if you're reading this, you're planning on voting straight Democratic tomorrow.  You believe the Democrats best represent the values you agree with:  education funding, tuition regulation, renewable energy and -- perhaps most importantly -- an inclusiveness of humanity so lacking in nearly every other Party out there these days, including the little-known The Rent is Just High Enough, Thanks party.

So I'm not going to tell you to vote for Democrats tomorrow.  You already know that.

Instead, I'm going to push my little soapbox up to the sidewalk and instead, I'm going to ask you to not vote tomorrow.  Actually, I'm going to ask you to not vote for a Democrat.  I'm going to ask that you go to the polls, between 7 AM and 7 PM, hit the Straight Democratic button and then request to make changes to your ballot specifically to remove one Democrat:

Texas Supreme Court candidate Jim Sharp.

Because while we may not be able to collectively raise our voices loud enough to overcome the ignorance around us to elect great Democrats, we can at least stop electing those who don't deserve to be Democrats.

Thank you for your vote.