Would Aaron Pena Pass TAKS?

Aaron Pena likes to talk a lot about the "professional left" (definition: people like me who don't get paid to work in politics, not people like him who do get paid) and our "intellectual slumber." I gotta say, I have a hard time taking advice on intellect from someone who, between tweeting about testicles and switching parties, seems to not know the difference between "it's/its" and "your/you're." So I got to wondering: Would Aaron Pena pass the standardized TAKS test?

I've collected just a few of his Twitter gems below. You be the judge and let me know either on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Rachel Farris

Would Aaron Pena Pass TAKS?

Apr 30, 2011 at 2:48 AM
With this kind of grammar, I'm thinking no.
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We are moving on to the third reading of #HB150, the Solomon's map on #redistricting the #Texas House of Representatives. #txlege
Rachel Farris Interesting use of an apostrophe in the middle of someone's name.
Apr 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM
Rio Grande Guardian recent personal attacks call into question it's journalistic standards and ethics. #rgv
Rachel Farris Hm, journalistic standards are apparently tricky for Pena as well.
Apr 27, 2011 at 9:51 PM
@WalkerATX @MeanRachel Just trying to engage the left out of it's intellectual slumber. To the contrary I very much like the Meanie.
Rachel Farris Perhaps you shouldn't comment on "intellectual slumber" when you seem to be intellectually sleepwalking.
Apr 22, 2011 at 1:34 AM
The Texas House of Representatives wraps up it's work for the day. We start tomorrow at 10 a.m. Onward to committee. #txlege
Rachel Farris Yeah, it's/its is clearly an issue for you.
Apr 19, 2011 at 10:44 PM
Attempts to compel MALDEF to change it's opinion that Rep. Solomon's map did not violate the Voting Rights Act in Hidalgo County failed #rgv
Rachel Farris Oh look, more.
Apr 18, 2011 at 1:38 AM
Friday is the bill filing deadline, if your not from the dist. pass us by if you want us to file your late bills.http://tinyurl.com/4ayoltj
Capit A CAPITOL BLOG: If You're Not From The District ... Friday is the bill filing deadline, if you're not from the district, pass us by if you want us to file your late bills.
Rachel Farris If "your" from the district and would fail TAKS, raise your hand.
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Report on Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County Democratic Party
Update: Does this make you angry?

Dear Aaron Pena from anthony gutierrez on Vimeo.

"Angry people vote."

Those are Paul Burka's words, writing at TexasMonthly.com this week about the potential Democratic candidate for Senate, General Ricardo Sanchez, and how the Latino population would -- or would not -- react to his candidacy.

It was timely that whispers of Sanchez, a Rio Grande City native, began floating around in the days before I made my way to Hidalgo County, where I was invited by the Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chair Dolly Elizondo-Garcia to speak at their County Executive Committee meeting. This trip down to the Valley was to be my first time in the area, outside of the occasional trip to Laredo.

As I drove through Edinburg, I couldn't get past the burn of what that city had become to me: the home of State Representative Aaron Pena, who saw many of the same problems I see in my state party and yet rather than stay and fight to improve our cause, chose to abandon it. Dusty, yellowed and barren, Edinburg looked like what the rest of the Rio Grande Valley looked like to me during my short time there: poor.

My presentation took place at the International Trade and Technology building at UTPA. Dolly had a large spread of breakfast tacos and coffee ready for guests, and a sign-in table was being worked by Hidalgo County Young Democrats wearing matching HCDP t-shirts. For 10 AM on a Saturday morning, the event was surprisingly well-organized and I realized that Dolly -- or perhaps all of Hidalgo County -- has grown used to the rest of the state underestimating them.

In the meantime, they've continued organizing. Unthreatened and open to new ideas, Dolly has catapulted several strong talents in her area into leadership positions. Eli Olivarez, an immaculate, quick-witted man who founded a chapter of the Stonewall Democrats in Hidalgo County, was encouraged by Dolly to run for the SDEC position in District 20.

Eli credits Dolly for the unity that the Hidalgo County Democrats now reflect. A symbol of this unity can be seen on their "passport" page, a landing page showing four online portals to the many faces of Hidalgo County Democrats. The passport page, which features updates from the local Stonewall Democrats, the Young Democrats, the Democratic Women and the county party itself, implies that everyone isn't the same in Hidalgo County but they all believe in a common vision.

During most of the meeting, an image of Aaron Pena laughing with his Republican cronies was displayed on the big screen at the front of the room, captioned with the words "There's nothing funny about these cuts." At one point in the program, Hidalgo County Commissioner Joel Quintanilla addressed the crowd and, pointing at Aaron Pena's image, said, "Look at this photo and tell me what you see." Spanish curse words were thrown out and someone from the audience said "Judas."

There's a perfect storm brewing in Hidalgo County and it's one that the Republicans have every reason to be afraid of. There's a large population with an intimate knowledge of just how bad the Republican Party can treat its poor, its elderly and its children. There's leadership unlike any I've seen in the Democratic Party since I've been active within it, and I'm confident saying that in Dolly Elizondo-Garcia, I've found my heroine.

But perhaps the final missing piece that could springboard action from Hidalgo County to the rest of the state is anger. The feeling in that room when the subject of Aaron Pena came up wasn't the feeling of a meeting but a revolution.

In questioning whether Latinos in Texas will ever turn out to vote like those in California and Arizona, Paul Burka goes on to write, "Hispanics in Texas are not alienated." Well, thanks to Aaron Pena, they're alienated now and they're angry. The future of the Democratic Party lies in Hidalgo County. They know it, they're uniquely poised to take over and, given the people I met down there this weekend, I don't see how they couldn't.

Aaron Pena Wants to Watch You Vote

I know it's been a while since I've written about this toad, but State Representative Aaron Pena (tilde purposefully omitted due to his lack of interest in protecting minority voters) has gone and sold out again. Take it away, Anthony Gutierrez of the TDP:
If Republican State Representative Aaron Pena gets his way, voter intimidation will soon be legal. Pena is the author of House Bill 2588, which strikes the part of current law that keeps watchers from being able to be present at the voting station if the voter is being assisted. So basically, if you are healthy and able to vote without assistance, you get to cast a secret ballot. If you have a physical disability or an inability to read the language in which the ballot is written then you would no longer have a right to a secret ballot.
That's right. Mr. "Open Government" Pena wants to make it easier for a poll watcher to peer over your shoulder while you cast your vote for the elected official of your choice. This probably has something to do with the fact that Pena needs to be assisted when casting his own votes, either by a deep-pocketed lobbyist or an influential Republican map-drawer. Or maybe it's because he can't see over his own ego-filled gullet. Either way, I don't understand how Big Brother watching over the shoulders of the disabled, the elderly and those with the inability to read has anything to do with getting back to moderate values or the Obama administration's response to border issues, both of which Pena cited as being his bogus reasons for switching parties.

In related news, I recently announced on Twitter that I was excited to be heading down to Hidalgo County, Pena's home turf, where I have been invited to speak about social media at the Hidalgo County Democratic Party's Spring Meeting on Saturday at UTPA. Pena tweeted at me that I was always welcome in his district and I retorted that it must be awkward for him that they can't say the same thing about him down there.

I'll be giving a social media training as well as selecting a potential Democratic candidate from the audience to receive a consultation on their social media strategy, so it should be an informative, productive meeting. State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa will also be there giving a legislative update regarding the budget cuts. Democrats are invited to attend and more details can be found here. I found out tonight they had to move the event to a bigger room because of a large amount of interest in it, which means Aaron Pena might want to start drafting his concession tweet now.
Hidalgo County Democratic Party Spring Meeting


I'm in.

Because of these people:

Why are you in?