Lone Star Project: "Strongest slate of candidates in years"
Wed January 6, 2010 1:34 am

From a release by the Washington-based Lone Star project:

With 2010 candidate filing now closed, it’s apparent that Texas Democrats have filed their strongest slate of candidates in years. We can expect that our ticket will be led by Houston Mayor Bill White who brings an impressive resume and unquestioned leadership skills to the race for Governor. Democrats have also filed strongly in other state-wide offices. Building upon success in 2006 and 2008, Democrats are fielding a highly capable slate of mainstream, centrist State House candidates, giving them an opportunity to claim a majority in the State House and elect a Democratic House Speaker. Also, in key county-wide races – particularly Dallas and Harris Counties – Democrats have filed an outstanding slate of candidates.

Why would somebody write this sort of nonsense? I know it's nonsense, and everybody who reads it knows it's nonsense. The Democrats had four years to field a decent slate of statewide candidates and they couldn't do it, even with the incentive that this is a redistricting year and Democrats needed to try to win offices whose occupants sit on the legislative redistricting board (attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner). Democrats did accomplish one thing. In former Houston mayor Bill White they have a credible candidate for governor who can provide the public face their party has not had since Ann Richards was in office. The rest of the statewide ticket consists of people most Texans have never heard of. This is what happens when you have a party that is bereft of leadership and is broken up into fiefdoms.

Other than Bill White and Kinky Friedman, the D's will field a ticket of folks who have held no political office (with a few exceptions) and have no hope of winning. Barbara Ann Radnofsky (attorney general), who challenged Kay Bailey Hutchison for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and managed to win 36 percent of the vote. Linda Chavez-Thompson, a former AFL-CIO executive vice-president, whom the Lone Star Project recruited at the last minute. Ronnie Earle is about the only familiar name. The former Travis County DA won some notoriety by indicting and ultimately causing the resignation of Tom DeLay, the former U.S. House majority leader. I'm not even going to bother with the rest of the slate. The Democrats couldn't find one person in a state of 25 million people to run against Susan Combs for comptroller.

The claim that the Democratic ticket is the strongest slate in years is laughable. Eight years ago the Democrats ran billionaire Tony Sanchez for governor, Dallas mayor Ron Kirk for U.S. senator, state comptroller John Sharp for lieutenant governor, and Austin mayor Kirk Watson for attorney general. That was a strong slate. And it got wiped out. The Democrats are years away from being competitive in downballot statewide races. The Lone Star Project would be better served by saying nothing than to claim that their slate has any chance of winning any statewide office.

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