Monday, April 21, 2008

Cornyn Watch: The Apparatchik Has Mucho Dinero, So Noriega Vs. Cornyn Will Be David Vs. Goliath

By Manifesto Joe

In Texas, we've gotten used to perennially uneven contests. They reflect a dysfunctional plutocracy, and then the beneficiaries try to pass it off as "democratic."

The latest on Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and shill supreme for Il Doofus, is that he's floating (not swimming -- that actually takes work) atop a veritable ocean of donations. According to the April 20 "PoliTex" blog of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The first-term Republican announced this week (now last) that he has raised $1.6 million since winning the March primary in a walk. That gives him $8.7 million in the bank for his race against Democratic state Rep. Rick Noriega. ...

Noriega's camp said the Houston Democrat raised $478,548 for the first quarter of 2008 and has about $329,000 on hand.

It's easy to understand why Texas isn't the best place to go up against the smug forces of evil plutocracy in America. It's practically Ground Zero for that: all those oil and natural gas thieves, reactionary agricultural interests, unregulated scam businesses, practitioners of the new sex slavery, human trafficking, sweatshops ... you name it, we've got it.

A fight for decency has got to start somewhere.

John Cornyn, with his laissez-faire Republican philosophy, represents, at best, an ineffectual, privileged status quo. At worst, he is a de facto mouthpiece for the very people who brought the underground Third World here. As one of the typical "conservatives" of his generation who demonizes government, he always played into the hands of the wealthy who routinely hired undocumented gardeners and maids because they worked cheap. But now, the monied ones are unseemly indignant when the restaurant help can't speak a lot of English. Such an inconvenience.

Enter state Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston. This is a man who embodies the greatness of Texas' Hispanic heritage, one who could show us the path to a far better state. If Rick can get the crucial backing he needs, I think he has a real chance to topple our reigning Ken Doll in November.

More about Rick, from his Web site:

Rick was raised in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1976 and attended Alvin Junior College on a Rusk athletic scholarship. It was during these formative years that he learned to work hard to get far in life.

In 1984, Rick completed his undergraduate education with the help of an ROTC scholarship at the University of Houston, receiving his commission in the United States Army. He went on to earn a Master's Degree in Public Administration in 1990 at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was an editor of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

Rick felt compelled to answer the call and serve in the U.S. Army in the wake of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. He was an airborne school and service commander of the 143rd Infantry Detachment (Long-Range Surveillance), an aide to Brigadier General David Heuer, and aide-de-camp to General Samuel Turk, Adjutant General of the Texas Army National Guard.

But Rick's service in the Army did not end there. He became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard, and served as deputy garrison commander of the KMTC training facility in Kabul, Afghanistan after 9/11. Rick was deployed in Afghanistan for a total of 14 months until August 2005, and he was also the Laredo Border Sector Commander in Operation Jump Start during the summer of 2006.

Upon his return from Afghanistan, Rick was tapped by Mayor Bill White as Incident Commander of Houston's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center. His leadership with the military, as well as his record in community service, was crucial as the GRB was transformed into a virtual city that cared for nearly 30,000 evacuees, and was then dismantled in the course of less than a month. At the center, Rick coordinated medical, employment, travel, housing and food services for more than 2,000 evacuees living on-site.

There's a lot more here. I don't think anybody is going to give this man any shit if he forgets to wear a flag lapel pin some Monday morning on the campaign trail. (But, looking at his resume, he's probably the sort of guy who will always remember to do that.)

Noriega represents a unique chance for a Democrat to win statewide office in Texas, for the first time since 1990. I hope he can get some out-of-state money; Cornyn has most of the Lone Star State high-rollers lined up. It's high damn time Texas had someone besides the usual plutocrats representing us in Washington.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

1 comment:

Jake said...

More here: