Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Kavanaugh Factor in the 2018 Mid Term Elections

I have never followed a Supreme Court Justice Senate confirmation hearing in my life. I was interested in the confirmation hearings because of the importance of balance of power on the Supreme Court. I was giving Justice Brett Kavanaugh the benefit of doubt regarding his confirmation until I heard his opening statement.

The judicial branch of government should be impartial, non-partisan, and independent of both the executive and legislative branches of government. T
he Supreme Court serves as the body that interprets the law and the constitutional rights of citizens, and provides precedent setting opinions. Supreme Court Justices are expected to demonstrate judicious temperament and integrity so our citizenry is confident in Supreme Court decisions. And a judge is expected to demonstrate judicial character at all times especially if you are a sitting judge. Justice Kavanaugh in his opening statement to the U.S. Senate opened a window to his political preference, his temperament, his disposition, his partisan revenge, his mind set and how he handles stress. In addition, his confirmation also confirmed the power of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who will utilize the senate rules and his slim Senate majority to push forward a very Republican agenda, for as long as he can.

Justice Kavanaugh's hearing and final Senate confirmation serve as a political dog whistle for various factions.

We are two weeks away from the 2018 midterm e
lections and a tilt of power to the Democrats could have a significant impact to the Trump agenda. The congressional Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have demonstrated a weakened backbone, even though Trump's presidency has been stained with embarrassing tweets, public outbursts unbecoming of a U.S. president, investigations, indictments of close political confidants and allies, and resignations. It has been a revolving door at the White House. Even though all this is in the public domain, is embarrassing, unprecedented, and has put into question the stability of the White House, U.S. House and Senate Republicans have embraced Trump as their Party Commander in Chief. They have utilized his lack of knowledge of the legislative process and his lack of a "normal" Republican political agenda to swiftly pass a conservative agenda that includes the sitting of a conservative majority Supreme Court, all important issues for the Republican voting base. The outsider Republican President Trump has provided an unexpected opportunity to ram a conservative Republican agenda through both the House and Senate just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans are crossing their fingers and praying that Trump's unusual popularity with normal Republican bases---evangelical pro-lifers, pro-gun rights advocates, business leaders, blue collar white men, ---will stay in the red column and swarm the polls during early voting and on election day.

It is an odd marriage but it is a marriage. Republicans must ram their political agenda swiftly through the process while they can because the pendulum always swings back the other way. And while Special Counsel Robert Mueller digs deep into President Trump's web---the tail wags the dog.

President Trump can claim credit for nominating and seating two conservative Supreme Court Justices, however, it is Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell who is the true architect and mastermind of the seating of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. He is a master of the legislative process and rules, yielding power to the President so he could get some credit (and solidify his base), in order to empower the Republican Party and a deep red Republican agenda, turning the Democratic delay into a legislative partisan victory.

The Senate Majority Leader will rule with an iron fist because he knows he holds the pendulum of power by his fingertips and because a Blue tidal wave could shift the opportunity. So who is galvanized by the appointment of Kavanaugh?

The #MeToo and Pro-Choice Movement vs Pro-Life Evangelical Movement  #MeToo:  Both of these groups are motivated. The revitalized #MeToo Movement has empowered thousands of women to confidently come out and share their story of sexual harassment and assault. The Kavanaugh hearing which resulted in an unprecedented stage for public debate on sexual assault and harassment angered victims, advocacy groups, women and men bringing home the issue to every household paying attention (voters were paying attention). It also served as a reminder of the Hollywood elite scandal of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault and abuse of women and Hollywood's reaction.


Actress Alyssa Milano's call to action, asking women in a tweet for survivors of assault and harassment to post "me too" as a status, resulted in 1.7 million #MeToo hashtag tweets within 10 days. (https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/10/9/17933746/me-too-movement-metoo-brett-kavanaugh-weinstein). Although Hollywood acknowledged the problem by implementing varied workforce harassment policies, some lawmakers from the state House to the U.S. House accused of sexual assault or harassment resigned and/or lost races such as former Congressman Al Franken and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. Most recently comedian and actor Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault.

At the highest level of government both President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh are symbols of power against gains in the #MeToo movement and the issue of sexual assault against women.

Millennial and Generation Z women of all races are a significant group of voters engaged

in the #MeToo movement and can alter the political numbers significantly. They aren't really in the polling data either so their voice will be heard election night---I predict loudly. Music megastar Taylor Swift came out to publicly endorse Tennessee Democrats with a strong political opinion on Instagram and Tennessee has reported record early voting numbers --- the Taylor factor? Cool !!! Swift returned to Instagram asking her fans to vote Democrat in the mid-terms and posting 22 fan stories and photos of really excited young voters participating in the political process for the first time. One heck of a GOTV strategy for the D's in Tennessee---and a gift.

Does the Swift factor impact nationally? Could be as she ups one on Kanye West who's #MAGA tirade and White House freestyle have fallen flat on young voter ears. Taylor is influencing voters to go to the polls while Kanye played the President for his benefit. So far Kanye has led no movement to motivate voters. In their interesting duel between megastars, Taylor Swift is not only a brilliant, multi-platinum Grammy and AMA award winner, she has flexed her political muscle wisely and with tact. She is playing politics in Kanye's game but she CAN influence politically as witnessed by the Tennessee Early Voting; he makes noise poorly and has had no political strategy to make a difference in the 2018 elections.

Taylor Swift has been classy and cool while Kanye West was tacky throwing out the "f" word in the Oval Office, his version of cool, not so cool.
L.A. Times 7/16/18 Kanye taking the mic away from Taylor Swift at the MTV awards.
The Millennial and Generation Z demographic is engaged. All races, all genders, all classes and their vote will matter in this election. How big is this group of voters? We shall find out.

Pro-life vs Pro Choice
The balance of the court now places in jeopardy Roe vs Wade and a woman's right to choose which rallies majority Repubican evangelical pro-lifers as well as majority Democratic, Independent, and Moderate Republican pro-choicers. So who has more incensed voters willing to storm the polls?

According to the Pew Research Institute (http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/public-opinion-on-abortion/) "Public Opinion on Abortion" (10/15/18)) "about six-in-ten white evangelical Protestants (61%
think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. By contrast, 74% of religiously unaffiliated Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases" as do 67% of white mainline ProtestantsCatholics are more equally divided with 51% saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 42% saying it should be illegal. 

A recent poll by the Billy Graham Center Institute at Wheaton College in conjunction with LifeWay Research (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/october/why-evangelicals-trump-vote-81-percent-2016-election.html) polled 3000 Americans in three categories: self identified evangelicals, those with evangelical beliefs, and those who do not identify themselves with evangelicals nor hold core evangelical values. The article provides a lot of interesting data including the evangelical vote breakdown for the 2016 election Trump votes: 77% White voters; 9% African American voters; 41% Hispanic voters; and 48% other voters. Overall evangelicals voted 56% for Trump and 36% for Clinton. The abortion issue for moderate Republicans could alter this dynamic, or moderate evangelicals will double down because of the progress of the economy. It is high stakes and will be interesting to see. The hard statistics are 81% of white evangelical voters voted for Trump. Wrap your mind around that.

So what happens to these voters post Justice Kavanaugh confirmation. How important is this issue for Independents and Moderate pro-choice Republicans. Independents are likely going to vote Democrat in 2018. But do moderate Republicans hold their nose and continue to vote Republican or are they concerned enough to vote Democrat because of the real possibility of women being relegated to unsanitary, unregulated, underground abortion butcher shops?

A reversal of Roe vs Wade will not stop abortions. Rich affluent women will have access to medically safe and sterile procedures in the privacy of doctor's office at an outrageous cost. Poor and working class women will be forced into an unregulated, black market, underground places no woman should have to seek out as their only option. 

It is two weeks until the election. My family and I will vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 because our votes need to reflect our candidates and not be subject to voter manipulation and fraud and stealing my vote. More of that in the next blog.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Lisa Wise El Paso Elections Administrator: Rolling Out the Argument to Replace El Paso’s Election Voter Machines

Joe Gudenrath and Lisa Wise
I had the opportunity to participate in the historic 2018 Democratic Primary running as one of 6 Democrats seeking the Democratic Nomination for Congressional District 16. It was an open seat. Veronica Escobar won the election without a run-off and is the Democratic Nominee for the seat to replace Beto O’Rourke, candidate for the U.S. Senate.

It was an interesting race I enjoyed almost as much as my very first race for state representative in 1996. Many things came to light during this race. I discovered that domestic hacking into vulnerable election machines throughout the US is a reality.  It’s not just a Russians thing. The capacity to hack into election machines, infect them with a virus that can change votes, and alter the outcome of “we the peoples” vote is a real and dangerous threat to our democracy.

Enrique Garcia, an accomplished, successful immigration attorney and candidate for Congress, sent an official request to Lisa Wise, Elections Administrator (received on December 7, 2018) for “an external independent audit of voting process/equipment for the upcoming Primary Election 2018”. On December 11, 2017 Wise responded that the “Texas Election Code does not have a mechanism for an external audit, but that Texas Election Code does require the Elections Department to conduct a Public Logic and Accuracy Test prior to sending out any ballots”. Wise also informed Garcia that the process was open to the public and a public notice is posted in El Paso Inc. (It should be released to all the media for any citizen to participate and or witness this process because how many Lower Valley residents subscribe to the El Paso Inc. or how many registered voters do?).  That is is one reason why our election lawsuit was relevant. (More on the lawsuit in a future blog.)

Wise further stated in her response, that “all of our election equipment is air gapped and never connected to the internet”.  The fact that our election machines are “air gapped and never connected to the internet” does not prove that our machines are not vulnerable to hacking.

I will be posting a series of blogs on this very subject on whether we can trust the El Paso Election machines, Premier/Diebold (Dominion) AccuVote TSX DRE-Touchscreen with no VVPAT (verifiedvoting.org), to protect voter will. Interestingly 3 other counties in Texas use our exact machines. Hang on to your hat. It’s a lot of information coming.....

So, who is Lisa Wise
Lisa is an accomplished Democratic Party operative.  She is a Nebraska native who grew up in Omaha. She has a bachelor’s degree from Park University and an MPA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. At Park University she studied Political Science and Public Administration and spent a semester in Washington D.C. interning for Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey.  Lisa was also hired as a Nebraska Democratic Party field coordinator and she served as a field coordinator in Democratic Mayor Mike Fahey’s first campaign. As a field coordinator, Lisa was involved in volunteer recruitment, phone banking, visibility, and staffing numerous campaign events. She also served as a campaign fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and Mayor Fahey’s re-election campaigns. (votedouglascounty.com)

Lisa moved from paid political operative to public servant and was appointed to serve as a Douglas County Deputy Election Commissioner from 2006-2014. It is a position equivalent to our El Paso Election Administrator position but has more checks and balances with a three-member Commission.

Lisa has in depth knowledge on the political side of what a political campaign needs to win an election and has deep Democratic roots. On the public side she has knowledge of the election process, election machines and their vulnerability, and should know election law and federal federal and state statutes for election tampering.

Why did Lisa come to El Paso? 
In 2014, Lisa’s husband Joe Gudenrath was hired as the executive director of the Downtown Management District (DMD) replacing interim director Debbie Hamlyn, (a former deputy El Paso City Manager under Joyce Wilson}.

The El Paso Downtown Management District (DMD), is the public/private entity dedicated to implementing the specific plans of the powers controlling the Downtown Redevelopment Plan. He oversees administration, the board of directors, budget management, program implementation, and strategic planning.

The DMD is a municipal government district and taxing authority. The DMD is primarily funded by the tax assessment imposed on property owners within the district and is supplemented with public dollars through collaboration on specific projects and programs with the City, County and with private dollars made by other local organizations and individuals (downtownelpaso.com and by the way DMD you have Cesar Chavez misspelled on your website).

Over recent years, the most contentious political issue has been Downtown redevelopment starting with the demolition of City Hall and the scattering of City departments throughout Downtown in select properties. Now the contentious issue is Durangito and the destruction of historic property to bulldoze and build an arena (although the voter ballot language apparently did not specify arena).  

Mr. Gudenrath, Lisa’s husband, has appeared in articles and interviews advocating for the Downtown District on these issues.

And by the way, Gudenrath, prior to serving as DMD’s Executive Director, served as Director of the Omaha Downtown Improvement District Association an organization equivalent to our DMD (according to his LinkedIn profile). He like his wife Lisa, had employment ties to Democratic Mayor Mike Fahey serving first as his Communications Director and ending his tenure as Chief of Staff.

Back to Lisa, according to Commissioner David Stout’s Newsletter (April 1, 2015) the El Paso Elections Commission selected Lisa Wise to serve as our El Paso Elections Administrator, replacing Javier Chacon who was terminated and gagged (like other fired County employees he was forbidden to speak of the details of his termination). County Commissioner Stout stated “This position is critical to the county, as Ms. Wise will be responsible for the elections department’s operation, and making sure elections adhere to state law. The commission set out to find a person who would focus on non-partisan voter registration efforts and increase overall voter turnout in the County.”

So, who selects our El Paso Elections Administrator?
Our El Paso Elections Administrator position was created by Commissioners Court and the Elections Administrator is appointed by the County Election Commission. However, a search at the epcounty.com website does not direct you to the County Election Commission nor does it provide you with a link to the members of this very important commission (based on my recent search). There are no postings that I could find indicating when and how often they meet so that citizens can attend as it is a public created entity. From my recollection the five Commission Members are the County Judge, the El Paso Democratic Party Chair, the El Paso Republican Party Chair, the District Clerk and the County Clerk. I assume that the minutes of these meetings are recorded because their meetings are public (or should be) and subject to open records.

For future blogs it is important to identify the public servant responsible for addressing election irregularities, election machine tampering or voter fraud. That person is the Elections Administrator, the chief county election officer as well as the voter registrar. She is responsible for all open records requests pertaining to any/all elections held in El Paso County.

Public Power Couples & Pillow Talk 

Both Lisa Wise and Joe Gundenrath are public servants. Lisa as the El Paso Elections Administrator and Gudenrath as Executive Director of the DMD, a majority public funded municipal government district.
Lisa and Joe are obviously a very united power couple, utilizing their professional and political backgrounds to achieve their professional, political and personal goals going from one state to another and successfully finding jobs that are pretty much the equivalent to the jobs they had in their home state. It is amazing that both jobs became available within a one year’s time frame.

I find it somewhat disturbing that the person responsible for ensuring that my vote is secure in every election I vote, has pillow talk every night with the person that is working to destroy historic buildings with historic value in the community I was born and raised. But it is more than the Downtown Durangito issue that has me concerned.

The elections overseen by Lisa and her staff impact who is elected and who will eventually vote on important issues such as the arena, bonds, certificates of obligation, time allowed to speak, eminent domain, fixing streets and bridges versus revitalizing trolley cars. The elections she administers decide who is the judge in your courtroom, who your federal and state legislators are as well as providing the results for all elected positions in El Paso County. Chew on that for a moment.

Our Omaha power couple remind me of another El Paso power couple: Sylvia Borrunda Firth, the former City Attorney and her husband attorney Victor Firth.

If you recall Sylvia resigned under a cloud of controversy and concern; “Sylvia Firth departed the city abruptly on Thursday, stepping down after seven years as El Paso city attorney.” (elpasoinc.com 4/26/18) It seems her pillow talk with her husband Victor who was representing “9-lives Billy Abraham” could be more than pillow talk because of the insurmountable wealth of information she had access to and because she failed to fully disclose a conflict of interest immediately when the City of El Paso commenced negotiations for the purchase, condemnation, tenant payoffs, eminent domain, and demolition plans the City was considering for the valuable Downtown real estate owned by “9-Lives Billy”. Victor Firth (at the time) was the negotiating bankruptcy attorney for the sale of the properties. Pretty big pillows !!!

Sylvia’s resignation always kind of stunk like a skunk because a public statement was issued to correct her “resignation” letter as a “retirement” so that she could be eligible for a larger taxpayer funded exit pension. (Stinky, stinky, stinky !!!) City Council validated her questionable exit.

Unfortunately, City Council also approved the use of eminent domain to acquire one of “9-lives Billy’s” properties – the former and historic Chinese Laundromat at 212 W. Overland. The building is the doorway to the historic Duranguito neighborhood (a cornerstone to the untold Chinese history of our community) and where the city desires to destroy history to build a $180 million multipurpose performing arts and entertainment center, referred to in some legal documents (not all) as the “arena”.

Hopefully, a wealthy historic conscious Paseño will come forth to purchase and restore the Toltec, Caples and Newberry buildings that "9-Lives Billy" still owns. #DontVoteEarly #historymatters #myvotematters #theelectionmachinesweusematter #protectingmyvotematters 

Next blog is about our hacked into machines, Premier/Diebold (Dominion) AccuVote TSX DRE-Touchscreen with no VVPAT; DefCon26 Underground Network Convention, a video of the hacked machine we use in El Paso at the DefCon26 Election Village and the state of Virginia case to remove the Premier/Diebold (Dominion) AccuVote TSX DRE-Touchscreen with no VVPAT last September 2017 as a result of the hacking at DefCon25.
By Norma Chavez

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Norma Chavez Blog Comes Back - A Border Latina Perspective

Welcome !!!  Bienvenidos !! Woa'ah tamu !
I have decided to blog again to add a Border Latina perspective to the Border blogosphere.

Too many boys, most not from or living in the Borderlands and as sole caregiver of my 85 year old parents I have some time in between domestic duties, cooking (learning Mom's secrets), and listening to their stories (really listening) as they were 1950's cool cats. It will be an open public conversation so long as everybody plays fair and is cool. I will post and hope to provide a public platform for talking politics, community issues, the arts and music, history and culture, the 915, the Borderlands (the 512 since I have lived in both cities for more than 20 years). I will block submitted posts that don't contribute to a healthy public conversation. It is my blog and my opinion.

The Norma Chavez Blog is the personal web-blog of a community activist, organizer, business woman, and communications/productions consultant. I was blessed to serve 14 years in the Texas House of Representatives. I am dog mom to "HD" my beloved poodle with wavy hair and a long tail and "Cantinflas" a pit mix rescue. I am a 2nd generation El Pasoan, born and raised along the Border. I am bilingual, bicultural living in a tri-state (Texas, New Mexico, Chihuhua), tri-nation (USA, Mexico, Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo) community. The blog is a Border Latina perspective on various local, state, national, and Border international issues and provides my personal opinion with hopes to encourage political thought, conversation, participation, creativity and public action. Posts are based on my personal life experiences, research, facts, articles, humor, interviews, and plain old common sense. I write it because "El que no habla, Dios no lo oye!"

(sneak peek----to be released this weekend). My first official blog (as this is an intro) will be on Lisa Wise, the El Paso Elections Administrator and the El Paso Election Machines:
Premier/Diebold (Dominion) AccuVote TSX DRE-Touchscreen with no VVPAT . 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio Texas the first Latino Keynote Speaker at a DNC Convention! Castro to share stage with First Lady Michelle Obama, & former President Jimmy Carter!

The Democratic National Committee will be gaveled in today to formally nominate  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a second term.  The DNC Convention Delegates and state Delegations reflect such a diverse group of people of all walks of life that represent the national Democratic Party. Further this convention will reflect the milestone that Latinos have achieved as Texas Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio becomes the first Latino ever to serve as the Keynote Speaker at a DNC Convention.  Introducing Mayor Castro, is his twin Democratic Nominee for Congress and State Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio.  Today, the nation and world will meet two young rising stars in the Democratic Party at the 2012 DNC Convention.  They are close like the Kennedy brothers, but one is older by only minutes. Their humble roots hardly reflect the Standford and Harvard education they both achieved together.  Their mother Rosie Castro, is the foundation in their young lives, as America and the world are introduced to the Castro twins.     

Mayor Julian Castro is now in the category of Texas legends. He is the third Texan to serve as Keynote Speaker of the DNC, his predecessors are Congresswoman Barbara Jordon, and Governor Ann Richards.  Barbara Jordan was a politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement who became the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives. Governor Ann Richards was the 45th Governor of Texas and the second female governor of Texas.  Richards first came to the national political arena as the state treasurer of Texas, when she delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Today, history is made once again.

Juan Sepulveda also of San Antonio has led the leadership at the DNC for Latino outreach for the convention and this is proving to be a big convention for Latinos at the DNC.  The DNC has increased political participation and engagement of Latinos in the party at all levels.  At this convention, every record of Hispanic convention participation has been broken.  This includes:  naming  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California as Democratic National Convention Chair, and naming  San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro as Convention Keynote Speaker, two key positions for the Democratic National Convention.

In addition the following reflects the outreach and leadership positions of Latinos in the Democratic Party and for the 2012 DNC Convention:

*Los Angeles, California City Councilman Eric Garcetti serving as Chair of Democratic Municipal Officials (representing city council members, mayors, and other municipal elected officials),

*Record number of Latinos participating in the2012 convention—there are 759+ Delegates, Alternates, or standing committee members to the convention in 2012 (a new record); there were 658 in 2008 (a record then),

*There are a Record number of Latinos named as national members of the 2012 Convention Standing Committees—Chairwoman Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz appointed 19 Latinos of 75 national positions, over 25% of spots.  For the first time more than ten Hispanic leaders have been appointed to national spots on the convention standing committees.  Past Democratic conventions had anywhere from 0 to 7 Hispanics nominated to these positions,

 *Record number of Hispanics named to leadership positions for 2012 Convention Standing Committees—5 of 18 positions, nearly 28% of spots,

*Five Latino leaders have been selected to the 18 leadership positions of the 2012 Platform, Credentials and Rules Committees.  In 2012, nearly 28% of the Convention Committee leadership positions will be held by Latinos;

·         Credentials Committee Co-Chair, San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro
·         Credentials Committee Vice-Chair, Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores
·         Platform Committee Vice-Chair, Colorado State Representative Crisanta Duran
       Platform Committee Vice-Chair, Futuro Fund Co-Chair Andres Lopez of Puerto Rico
·       Rules Committee Vice-Chair, Los Angeles, California City Councilman Eric Garcetti
Two Latino leaders were also named to the Platform Drafting Committee: Stanford Law School Professor Tino Cuellar and New Organizing Institute Special Projects Director Carlos Odio.

In addition, a record number of Hispanic national organizations are attending the 2012 Convention (in comparison to only 5 groups attending in 2008); 43 organizations accepted the invitation to participate in the 2012 convention (this was the first time most of these organizations have been asked to attend a Democratic National Convention).  The list includes: the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials,      Hispanic Federation, National Assoc. of Hispanic Federal Executives, National Council of La Raza,·         National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc., US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, SER- Jobs for Progress National, Inc., U.S.- Mexico Foundation, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Hispanic-Net, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, New America Alliance, Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota,·         National Hispanic Corporate Council, Nat’l Assoc. of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Latino Leaders Network,  Aspira, The Hispanic Institute, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Association of Hispanic Publications, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Immigration Forum, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), National Hispanic Council on Aging, Colorado Immigration Coalition, National Society of Hispanic MBA's, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute,  Latinos in Social Media, Chirla (Los Angeles), AARP, Multicultural Markets & Engagement, North American Integration & Development Center, New York Immigration Coalition,Hispanics in Philanthropy, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), MANA, A National Latino Organization, Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, and the United Farm Workers (UFW).

The Obama Administration and the Democrats have demonstrated their commitment to public policy initiatives and causes that positively impact the greater Latino community.  This election has been considered “the” election where Latinos can flex their political muscle and influence the outcome if not determine who the next President will be.  But although polls show 70’%  of Latinos support Obama, the challenge continues to be to get out the Latino vote. In addition the Latino vote in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and other battleground states can determine who is elected president. 

The unprecedented outreach by the political arm of the Obama Administration is unmatched by the Republican National Committee, and reflects the commitment by the Obama Administration to include Latinos in all facets of political activism which results in political empowerment and policy initiatives that reflect the needs of the greater Latino community.  This is not tokenism or political propping.  This is a major step forward.

The Keynote Speaker address by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is tonight!  Don’t miss it!  It is on prime time and will be on every network, if not – you must go to CNN for their live coverage.

CNN Democratic Convention Coverage
Fox News DNC Convention Coverage
MSNBC DNC Convention
Huffington Post DNC Convention Coverage
Politico DNC Convention Coverage


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pre DNC Convention! Beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina

Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina I took care of the most important convention task for me to do, and that is attend my first national committee meeting for the DNC Standing Committee on the Rules.  Basic rule of thumb, be a good committee member (you were appointed) and attend the meeting on time, listen, learn, and be helpful if needed.   Simple presentation of the party officers, the agenda,  the rules that will govern the convention and a formal vote by the committee.  Task complete!

The vendors are setting up outside the convention as well.  Lots of cool stuff here already including this years "Obama Bobblehead" complete with his hand on the bible, and American flag (I think his smile is bigger on this editions bobblehead).

The Texas Delegation hotel this convention is the Great Wolf Lodge. Texas is a red state and seems as though because we are a RED state we always get the farthest away real estate assigned to us.  This convention is no different as we are in Concord, North Carolina, not exactly where all the action is Downtown.  The trip coordinators told someone that we are so far because our delegation is so big.  California is a huge state but a blue state and their delegation is Downtown!!  So I don't buy it.  We are ALWAYS far and since I've been going to Democratic Conventions we've been a red state!  So I say let's get Paul Sadler elected to the US Senate so we can be considered a "purple" state and get better hotels at next DNC Convention!

(Photo from Google search)
On the plane I met some Texas Delegates, guests, committee members, and volunteers. Everyone is gearing up for the convention and the election! Lots of people are excited about the "whisper" campaign regarding who in Hollywood and in the entertainment industry will be coming in for the convention.  The airport whispers I heard were that special celebs Beyonce and her man Jay-Z will be here for their friends the Obamas, big question is will Blue Ivy be attending her first Democratic convention? Last convention in Denver, celebs mixing with the people on the convention floor included Spike Lee and Oprah was seen going from one secret agent door to another (wink wink). The "whisper" campaign (with a lot of media speculation) includes that Betty White would bring down the house if she is the elder stateswoman to address the convention after Clint Eastwood had his "senior moment" talking to an empty chair at the RNC Convention!

Today kicks of 12 parties around Charlotte, welcoming 6,000 delegates. Texas's bash is with other states (I'll share more later on this).

The protesters have set up too including bus loads joining Occupy Charlotte at Marshall Park. Estimates of protesters converging on the convention are between 2,000 and 10,000 (only 500 attended the RNC although Hurricane Isacc was a factor).  I haven't ever been to a DNC Convention where there weren't protesters!

BORDER TALK will NOT be on location here!!
And the media biggies have rolled in and set up. CNN, Fox News, ABC have stages set up for on location broadcasting. Considered the media mouth piece for the Republican Party, The Fox is broadcasting out of the NASCAR Plaza Building and interesting to note that a Republican Party source stated that the GOP has rented space at the NASCAR Plaza Building for the Democratic Convention! Guess Fox News will be getting their "dummie talking notes" from a GOP runner inside the building to their stage outside!!