In Finally Something We Agree On, Battleground Texas just posted an audio clip of Steve Munisteri, the Texas GOP chair, speaking to the newly created “Battlefield Dallas” group. If y’all think that name sounds a bit familiar, just wait til you hear the clip, which I have transcribed for those who can’t listen at the moment (my emphasis):
Have any of you heard of this group, Battleground Texas? Raise your hands.
Okay, I want all of you to know that I have also heard of it. So I think it will save us a lot of time if you don’t call the state party to ask if we know about it.
In fact, I have threatened to have a new fundraising program that for everybody who calls to say, “Steve, have you heard about the Democrats, what are we doing about it?” … you have to pay a dollar. I think if we do that, we could raise a lot of money.
Folks, yes, we know about them. Isn’t it going to be nice that instead of Texans having to go to Ohio and Florida to have the action, I like the fact Texas is going to be a battleground. I like the fact that we don’t have to go out of state any more. The eyes of the nation will be on our state. And as our state goes, our entire country goes.
Now, some people are scared of that. But I take that, embrace it, and say, “What a wonderful opportunity for every one of us to help decide the direction of our country,” and that can start right here today.
It sounds as though Battleground Texas has Republicans worrying. A lot. And Munisteri has now conceded that Texas is going to be a battleground state, which is quite a turnaround from the Republicans’ attitude toward this effort back in January:
Republican strategist Dave Carney, who has worked extensively in Texas and steered Perry’s 2010 reelection, dismissed Democratic claims that a brand-new voter mobilization project would help transform the state. He called it a matter of “consultants coming up with a project to get paid.”
“The more money they spend on [Battleground Texas], the better it is for Texas and the taxpayers of Texas, because it will basically lead to continued conservative dominance of the state. There’s a reason voters are low-propensity voters. They don’t vote,” Carney said.
We already know that Munisteri is confident that the Republicans have considerably more money to spend here (my emphasis):
“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.
They’re going to outspend us. So be it. Our side has people who were fired up and ready to go in both 2008 and 2012. And that’s not just some meaningless slogan-at a brunch yesterday honoring Democratic women in Galveston County, Jenn Brown, BGTX’s Executive Director, emphasized the number of Texans who volunteered in battleground states during the last two presidential elections, as well as the remarkably high level of energy and enthusiasm she has encountered all around our state during the past few months.
We all know that we have to do, not just talk, in 2014, 2016, and every election thereafter. According to the 2012 Census, only 66.9% of Texans are registered to vote. Or, put another way, 5.3M Texans are not registered to vote. Those who want to help register voters in Texas, though, are required to attend Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar training in their county. Battleground Texas is actively working to schedule VDVR training all around the state, but Jenn Brown told us today that many counties still don’t know how to conduct VDVR training. So BGTX is already working with those counties to resolve that problem.
Battleground Texas Senior Advisor Jeremy Bird will be in Houston on Thursday, May 30 to meet with volunteers:
Houston and it’s surrounding counties are critical to the effort of turning Texas into a battleground state. To date, we have helped over 1,200 volunteers become deputized to register voters in their community — and we’re just getting started.
At this grassroots meeting we will officially kickoff our voter registration drive, lay out the plan for the next few months and get important feedback from you.
– Battleground Texas (@BGTX) May 24, 2013
Cross-posted from orange.