Trying to top last Saturday-“Gun Day”-which the Texas House spent passing 12 firearms bills in a transparent effort to pander to the NRA, the 83rd TX Legislative Session has now protected the rights of professional Santas to visit children in public schools again. And I’m not even going to try to list the ridiculous antics of Texas Republican politicians here and in Washington, DC.
I applied for and have now accepted a Battleground Texas Summer Fellowship. Are you fed up enough to apply as well? To attend a 1 1/2 hour training to become a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar for your county? Or to call Democratic supporters to let them know about BGTX?
After traveling around the state and meeting with 3500 activists, Battleground Texas is now scheduling Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar (VDVR) trainings in many counties. The Austin American-Statesman has published an excellent and lengthy update: Battleground Texas wraps up 1st phase; now hard part begins:
“Texans are so excited, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before,” said Battleground Texas’ executive director, Jenn Brown, the 31-year-old community organizer from Southern California who ran Obama’s field operation in indispensable Ohio in 2012. “Texans are ready. It’s time.”
Battleground Texas has the support of the Texas Democratic Party as well as many prominent Texas donors and activists. The article features just two: Steve Mostyn, a top donor to Texas Democratic candidates as well as to President Obama’s campaign, and Mary Patrick, a long-time Democratic activist based in Austin.
The nationwide media attention already generated is just the beginning. Supporters are raising money across the nation to help BGTX turn Texas blue:
Mostyn traveled to New York, California, Colorado and D.C., “meeting with people from all over the progressive movement who understand that there are four majority-minority states, and Texas is the only one that’s Republican.”
“We’ve never seen the money commitment that’s coming and the money commitment that I’m going to put in,” said Mostyn. “It’s large, and that’s new and it’s sustaining. All of us are talking – those of us in the donor world – about a long-term plan.”
Texas Republicans have certainly noticed the fundraising efforts on behalf of BGTX, but Texas Republican Chairman Steve Munisteri is confident that they have way more money:
“They talk about they’re going to be putting tens of million into Battleground Texas,” said Munisteri. “If there ever were a significant threat because somebody put $20 million in, our business community would probably spend that on Republicans by a factor of several-fold; $75 million was raised just from Texas for Romney. None of that money was spent in the state. Over a six-year period, the RNC raised $41 million in Texas and spent about $400,000. Those dollars can easily flow back the other way if we need them, so if they spend $10 million, we can spend $100 million.”
If so, for a national Democratic donor that would mean for every dollar spent in Texas, Republicans would spend $10, money they wouldn’t be spending elsewhere. That’s not a bad return on investment.
Game on. And please read the entire article.
– Battleground Texas (@BGTX) May 5, 2013
Are you following Battleground Texas?
“Texas is on the brink, but Texas can do better. The choice is ours.”
Earlier this year, the Texas Legislative Study Group, chaired by State Rep. Garnet F. Coleman (D-HD 147), released the 2013 Texas on the Brink report. Many rankings in the report are quite shocking:
|State Rankings (51st=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
|43rd: Current Expenditures for Public K-12 Schools per Student in Average Daily Attendance
|50th: Percentage of Population Graduated from High School
|3rd: Percent of Population with Food Insecurity
|1st: Percent of Population Uninsured
|51st: Percent of Non-Elderly Women with Health Insurance
|34th: Percent of Households with Internet Access
These rankings are equally shocking, but they are also reason to hope that registering, persuading, and turning out voters can make a huge difference:
|State Rankings (51st=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
|47th: Percent of Voting-Age Population Registered to Vote
|47th: Women’s Voter Registration
|51st: Percent of Voting-Age Population that Votes
|51st: Women’s Voter Turnout
Now’s the time to get involved with Battleground Texas as well as with the Texas Democratic Party and our local county parties. Regardless of experience, every one of us is needed.
Note: This diary was previously posted in orange.