Wendy Davis Kicked It

KickmIt has been a very long time since I have been to a political event. This is not because I am disinterested in politics, as anyone who reads me knows. The truth is since my shooting I have an abiding fear of crowds. It is difficult for me to quell my fear, to stop my heart beating outside of my chest. Nevertheless, I did it. In fact, I did it twice in one day and I am glad I did.

On 3-October-2013, Texas Senator Wendy Davis announced she was entering the race for Governor. I was there! The invocation by Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks was old school church, moving and at times funny. In my mind, his most appropriate request:

“We ask you, Lord, to change her pink running shoes into combat boots … so she can do battle against the negative forces that rule this state”.

Following the invocation, former TXU executive Alex Jimenez introduced Senator Davis with his own story of climbing from pole setter to Vice President at the largest power company in Texas. His story was met with cheers from the crowd even if his former employers name was met with jeers. Mr. Jimenez provided a fabulous backdrop to what is possible in Texas, just as Ms. Davis does. Their friendship extends back to her days on the Fort Worth City Council where she chaired the Council on Economic development.

Ms. Davis bounded onto the stage as “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keyes played, the crowd was on their feet and enthusiasm was obvious. I must tell you, my nerves were on edge even as I was happy to be there, excited to be part of Texas politics and thrilled to see a woman of integrity with values close to my own fearlessly stand up knowing just how hard this next year was going to be. Make no mistake; this year is going to be hard for Wendy Davis. Even before she announced her intention to run, the attack dogs were out. Before the black drapes were pulled off her campaign signs, the ugly was being prepared and the negative ads were hitting the airwaves in Texas. From outside Texas things were just as nasty, those tweets rolled off, here are just a few examples:

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Of course, lest we forget we have our own champions of ignorance right here in Texas and one of them is currently the front-runner in the gubernatorial race. Greg Abbott is a hypocrite, a far right conservative, a friend and supporter of Ted Cruz; the Tea Party was damned near made for his brand of politics. This man got rich because of a freak accident, not just a little rich mind you but $10M or more rich. He is now a fervent advocate of Tort Reform and derides those who represent individuals in personal injury lawsuits. He has also never seen fit to defend or support others with disabilities; in fact, he has more than once made social gaffes like this one:

GregAbbott

We can only hope Greg Abbott continues down this path to become the Clayton Williams of this campaign, making it ever so much easier to show the stark contrast of the GOP Neanderthal thinking. Honestly? It doesn’t appear we have made much progress since ole’ Clayton made his ridiculous statements about Ann Richards and rape during their hard fought 1990 campaign. He out spent her 2:1 and was at the time considered a shoe in for the Austin Governor’s Mansion, until this:

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Currently Greg Abbott has approximately $25M in his war chest, much of it from out of state. There are no viable sources to tell us where his current war chest comes from yet. However if the history holds true we can expect when Follow the Money, Open Secrets and other reporting agencies start reporting numbers we will see a similar trend to Mr. Cruz and Mr. Perry, millionaires, Big Business, Banking, Big Oil and the far Right-Wing Paks contributing big dollars to keep Texas Red. The single issue nutcases were already out when I pulled up on Thursday, signs a-waving with “Keep Texas Red” and “Pro-Life Texas”, all I could think was dumbasses. I was hoping for a picture of them but by the time I had parked and walked back the police had moved them off.

It was a good day in Haltom City and later in Fort Worth at the reception. People were energized, applauding during all the speeches. The crowd was mixed, all ages from the very young to the octogenarian, every ethnicity and race was represented on the floor and in the surrounding seats. People were smiling, talking to strangers and kind, even for me with my nerves somewhat frayed by the crowd, it was a good day.

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Ms. Davis gave a good speech, she talked about her own humble beginnings and why she cares. She focused on how great Texas could be if we got out from under the yoke of Republican rule and the decimation of our education system and the deep cuts to our healthcare, no not women’s healthcare but our overall Texas Healthcare. She focused on the needs of the state, the needs of all citizens to achieve our goals through opportunity. She spoke for just under 15 minutes and she had the crowd on their feet. Most people don’t know Ms. Davis staged her first filibuster on the $5B cuts proposed by Rick Perry and his cohorts in the Republican Party to our education system. Her most recent filibuster for which she is better known wasn’t her first trip to the rodeo.

Senator Davis ended her announcement with this:

“Until every child from Longview to Lubbock to McAllen to Mesquite makes it to a stage like this, and gets their diploma, and knows that nothing will wash out the road to their future dreams, we will keep going,” she said. “Until the corridors of power are the corridors of the people, until problem-solving trumps partisanship, until our state is ‘a lot less lone and a lot more star,’ we will keep going. As long as we can make this great state even greater, we will keep going. Because with the right kind of leadership, the great state of Texas will keep its sacred promise that where you start has nothing to do with how far you can go.”

http://www.davis.senate.state.tx.us/

http://www.policymic.com/articles/51249/10-facts-about-wendy-davis-the-rookie-state-senator-from-texas

http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2011-06-06/who-is-wendy-davis/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/07/15/five-things-to-know-about-greg-abbott/

http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2013-08-19/greg-abbott-and-the-fail-whale/

http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-09-20/abbott-more-twitter-troubles/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/20/1122097/-Clayton-Williams-Victims-of-Rape-Should-Relax-and-Enjoy-It

http://votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/50168/greg-abbott#.UlAsnFDoZ8E

http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=116443

Comments

  1. Val, I would love it if Wendy Davis became governor of the Lone Star State. I admire her a lot. What a contrast to Bush and Perry! You say that she’s only eight points out with 50% of voters undecided thirteen months before the 2014 election, she’s got a shot. Your governor race is going to be very interesting. Great post!

    • You and me my friend. I am going to stick close to Ms. Davis and her campaign. She is a different Democrat, she doesn’t fit the common mold thus has a good shot at attracting some of the undecided. They won’t be able to attack her on many of the standard ‘liberal’ stances. Of course they will stick her on her Woman’s Rights issues, most women in Texas are close to her stance despite the loud and obnoxious uglies out there. Greg Abbott is such a nasty man, I think he will stick his foot in his mouth more times before the end. I am going to enjoy this one.

      • This is definitely a race to watch.

        • Davis has a good chance of winning if most Texans who are eligible to vote actually make it to the polls. I think too many of my fellow Texans have resigned themselves to believe that Texas politics will always have a right-wing bent. In other words, they’ve become too damn complacent! To an outside observer, Texas looks to be a blood-red bastion of old world conservatism, when in fact, it’s much more moderate. I don’t want Texas to turn as blue as California or Illinois. But, I definitely don’t want it to stay as it is.

          • I want it Purple. A nice moderate and happy Purple. Wendy would get us there.

            • Yes, purple would be nice. Extremism serves no purpose in politics, business, etc. Another problem – as I pointed out in one of my own blog posts last year – is that the Democratic National Committee seems to have abandoned Texas altogether; resigning the state – as some voters here have done – to the Republican Party. When Bill White ran for governor in 2010, he explicitly said he didn’t want President Obama to campaign for him. That kind of internal animosity would discourage anybody.

              • I agree with you, extremism is what destroys us. I strongly believe we need balanced government, with the bulk of our legislative body in the middle. I am hopeful, DNC seems to be waking up. Emily’s list is waking up to the possibilities of Texas. Battleground Texas is putting feet on the ground and I am thus far impressed with them.

          • I hear you. The Texans that follow my goofball site and the Texans that I know personally in this thorny place known as The Real World are definitely not blood red zealots. I hope that the level headed thinkers like you do cast their ballots next November. Turnout is so key to outcome. Whenever complacent friends of mine claim that their one vote doesn’t count I tell them that if everyone who felt that way did vote that would make a huge impact. As cynical as I am about politicians and politics, I have always voted ever since I registered when I was 18. There is a lot of power in single votes when they’re added up. Now if you don’t mind I need to step off the soapbox and return to my brand of frivolous thinking. Nice to meet you.

  2. What a wonderful post, my friend. Politics in Texas are never easy, if you don’t vote with the far right.

    However, I have to comment on something else entirely. I didn’t realize you had been shot. Holy shit, how did I miss that?! No wonder you avoid crowds!

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get here. It’s been a crazy week!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Yeah that sucked that day. Story is under ‘Victim Impact’, if you ever want to read it.

      Texas politics are good fun. Down and dirty. I am going to try hard to engage, my discomfort in crowds is by no means under control. But, I will have to figure it out. It is why I now and then find myself thinking I need an island.

      Kathy, you never ever have to apologize. I am just happy to see you whenever you arrive.

      Hugs back, always

      Val

  3. let us hope the good people of Texas will elect this woman as their Governor. Texas, and the country, needs her…badly. well written Val. continue…

  4. Sounds like it was an incredible day! So glad you were able to push past some of your fears to witness the phenom that is Wendy Davis. She’s a remarkable woman with quite a story. I’d love to see more of her on the national stage. (I will not expend any energy on the GOP and the characters hellbent on assassinating Ms. Davis’ character. They are not worth any more of my minutes, especially since it’s way past my bedtime.) 🙂

    • It was a good day. You are correct I think money and time will be spent on Senator Davis, she is a threat. Funny thing is, she is very independent of the traditional left leaning Democrat though this is not how she is painted by those who don’t dare to actually investigate her voting record. I don’t agree with her on everything, but I like her because I don’t agree with her.

  5. Texas has always puzzled me. How on Earth did you all wind up with Rick Perry and company? I like Wendy Davis–like her a lot, but it does seem like a long haul. However, that is what a lot of people said about Barack Obama, and the rest is history. So glad you got to go to the event. Living well is what helps us triumph over the monsters. Blessings!

    • Two answers my friend, outside money and low voter turnout.

      We will see what happens. It is going to be a heavy lift, but it could happen. Greg Abbott is an asshat, he could well stick his foot in his mouth once too often.

  6. So glad you could make it to the event. And jealous. Just want to make a plug for small donations. Every $3, $5, or $10 helps. Give early and often!

    • Indeed and give directly to her campaign! I have an automatic set up to go directly to the Wendy Davis campaign instead of any other, though I also give to Battleground Texas. I usually give to the national groups, Emily’s List as an example but this time most of my political earmarks are staying in Texas.

  7. Val, when Wendy Davis first entered the national spotlight I, like so many others, found her to be an accomplished, smart woman. How exciting to learn she’s now running for governor. I hope she wins! I’m so glad you were able to overcome your fears to be there for the announcement. Who knows? Maybe she’ll run for president someday?

    • I hope so too Monica. It is going to be a long hard slog through the muck that is Texas politics. Her opponent is a nasty piece of work with nothing nice to say for himself or others. We will see, she is not afraid to play dirty so maybe it will be a real slug fest Texas style.

  8. I am so glad that you overcame your fear of crowds and were able to hear her announcement! I think she had a chance to win – she will have my vote! And I remember the Clayton Williams comments and the election. The attacks on Wendy will be heavy and she will need combat boots. Keep us posted if you get more involved! We need more of the color Blue in Texas.

    • I think she has an uphill battle and it will be ugly, but with feet on the street and lots of people willing to give time and money she might well have a chance. It is going to be just as ugly and just as personal as the Ann Richards / Clayton Williams 1990 campaign was I think. Ms. Davis has to be willing to slug it out, just like Ann Richards was. I think in Ms. Davis we have the uncommon, a Democrat willing to fight dirty. I certainly hope so.

      I plan to be involved, I plan to write about it but more than that I plan to be part of the solution. I hope I can overcome my fear and be out there.

  9. –Such Abundant Passion.

    WOW, Love the last paragraph.

    Val, I am waiting for you to run for something, girlfriend. XXxx

    • Unlike Wendy, I don’t think I could take the slings and arrows. I don’t think I could stand up there and allow it without simply hanging my head and walking away. Far to many skeletons in my closet my friend, I simply don’t want them out and dancing in the public eye; even if most of those skeletons are of anothers making.

      But each time I can overcome some fear it is a good day. Each time I can at least be there it is a good day.

  10. I hope she has a shot. I really, really do.

  11. It’s energizing to hear fresh, passionate ideas and invigorating plans for a better future after the stagnation which seems to be spreading for years now.
    Congratulations of putting yourself out there into the crowds as well.

    • Thanks Tess, it was actually fun after I got over being jostled. It is incredibly good to hear something new and fresh. I like Senator Davis, she isn’t just the same old same old, she isn’t just party line Democrat, despite how the Right is going to try to paint her. She has weight in her positions. I sure hope she can translate her history, her contributions and her real positions into solid votes.

  12. Good for you, for being able to get out, into a crowded setting … that’s a big step! And, for such an important event!

    I can’t say I’m surprised by the Twitter hate … but, then conservatives of the Malkin ilk really only know how to be hateful — they have no intelligent argument, so they just resort to hateful insults to try and sound intelligent.

    I hope Wendy succeeds… her filibuster was a remarkable thing (and, unlike Ted Cruz’s fake filibuster, Ms Davis actually had to stay on topic for the entire time she was filibustering.)

    • Her first one to save our Education funding was good also, though not nearly as long. There is a great story behind that one.

      The thing all these nutjobs were so pissed over? A picture of Wendy Davis with children, I think there is link with the tweets. They are all such ijits, really she has two children of her own.

      I hope she succeeds also. I will be following her with great interest. I am sure to be writing more about this campaign as it moves forward. Texas politics are some of the natiest in the nation.

      • Yeah, I saw the photo of her, with her children. It’s just so twisted that they make her sound like she’s performing abortions in her living room 24/7, rather than standing up for the right to chose.

        I do understand the debate, the religious feeling of it, but, I don’t understand why people feel they have the right to restrict someone’s choice. I don’t know how I feel about abortion (i.e. when does life start?), but, I know that it is not my place to tell a woman what she can or cannot do.

        Who knows… maybe she’ll energize the liberals in Texas to get organized, and stop letting Texas be a reliable red state.

        • I know how I feel about the issue. Both on a personal level and a public issue. The two are different, I think this is what people don’t understand.

          We can only hope John, energy is what Texas need.

  13. Go Wendy! I would love to see her win. Sanity returning to Texas would mean so very much to the rest of the country.

    And I am so glad you were there! You ROCK, Val!

    • I could have used a Valium to calm my nerves, believe me. But it was awesome all things considered.

      I do like her, she isn’t the far-left nut case Abbott and company make her out to be. In fact she is more a centrist, very independent in her voting record. It is one of the reasons I like her. I think she would be good for Texas. Smart, tough and not an ideologue.

  14. The key to a successful Democratic win at the state level is for more Texans to vote. On average, only about a third of eligible Texas voters make a concerted effort to reach the voting booth; meaning Texas ranks 50th out of all the states in the percentage of actual voters. With such dismal numbers, it’s no wonder our state is overrun with right-wing lunatics!

    • Agreed. It is why Battleground Texas is such an important movement, along with a couple of others. The push to get people registered and to the polls will be critical in the next election cycle.

  15. Val, I am soooo happy that you decided to overcome your fear of crowds. Congratulations lady.

  16. Ms.Valentine when I ponder what you have been through it brings tears to my eyes thus I applaud your courage. I couldn’t agree more Senator Davis would make a great governor, she can hold her own with the “good old boys” just hope she can muster the financial resources.

    • She will need the financial resources, the feet on the ground and the ability to fight dirty. She has proven her willingness to fight dirty in her last run for her Senatorial seat, not worried about her on that one. It is whether she can get the same financial support both inside and outside the state Abbott has gotten, that is what I worry about. Feet on the ground, there are two grassroots organizations I think will work in her favor.

  17. Best of luck to Wendy Davis. I hope Texas has had enough with 20 years of Bush and Perry already.

  18. From the outside, this is going to be an interesting race to watch. I can’t imagine how many millions will come from outside Texas. Good luck!

    • I know Iowa likes to believe they are the craddle, but the truth is Texas swings the nation pretty well. This one will be interesting and fun. I think it just might be as much fun as the Ann Richards v. Clayton Williams match up of 1990, she only beat him by 3 points despite his gaffes.

      It is going to be fun and I am going to follow, not just with my pen and my camera. I have my Wendy shoes.

  19. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

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