Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Election Day

Hey, Mr. Police Man, please don't take my stuff
It cost me too much money and it probably ain't enough
To make it through election day
And didn't I hear you say
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
- Blaze Foley, "Election Day" (popularized by Lyle Lovett)

All eyes today are on Texas' primary elections, so here's a roundup of related recent Grits coverage. For once, at least for Democrats, the message "vote early and often" isn't entirely a joke. Primary voters will decide about 55% of delegates at the ballot box, but another third will be decided by caucuses at local precinct conventions tonight when the polls close (the rest are "superdelegates"). Meanwhile, the presidential race is by no means the only important election held today.
Court of Criminal Appeals
Travis County DA
Other important Texas elections today include the Harris County DA primary, where one of four GOP candidates will win the right to face former Houston police chief Clarence Bradford in November. Sheriff's races in Bexar and Dallas both should be competitive, with issues in both elections centering around the jail. El Paso will likely choose the replacement for the late Sheriff Leo Samaniego today in the D primary.

Meanwhile, many thousands of Texas Democrats will be attending their party's precinct conventions for the first time ever. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to who told me this would be their first time at a precinct convention. If you're one of them, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to also bring these resolutions to propose in your precinct:
Print out five copies of each and take them with you - the convention will be held in the same place your precinct votes (NOT early voting sites), and will begin 15 minutes after the polls close at seven o'clock. Go here for more detail on the process. And be sure to come back and let me know if the resolution passed in your precinct, either via email or in the comments.

Finally, the blog Texas Prison Bidness has prepared a resolution opposing the incarceration of blameless children in immigration detention centers like the T. Don Hutto facility in Williamson County, which incidentally is the subject of a new blog that's also promoting the resolution.. In Travis and Williamson I'm told the party will actually be distributing this resolution, but in other counties you should definitely take 5 copies and attempt to get this resolution passed, too. (The resolutions are also suitable for GOP convention-goers if you change the party name - I'm more focused on Ds because their caucuses will be extraordinarily well attended.)

It's a big day, huh? Use this post as an open thread to let me know your thoughts about today's plebiscite, what races or issues you're watching, or for other election-related topics.

RELATED: Via Burnt Orange Report, see "Where to Vote and How to Follow Tonight's Election Results."


Anonymous said...

BTW, Grits, you probably saw this already, but last week's issue of the New Yorker included a feature story on Hutto.

Good luck with the election circus,


Anonymous said...

I hope that Plano voters are paying attention. If Madden loses, all of us who support modern criminal justice lose.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

No kidding, 11:12. And if voters in Madden's district do figure it out, they won't have the Dallas News to thank.

The penny ante crap that ran in the kid's mailer about Madden - that the Dallas News IMO irresponsibly repeated in a he-said, he-said formula hit piece - was so scurrilously off base and slanted I chose not to give it any extra play by writing about it.

The MSM's he-said, she-said formula of journalistic "balance" only works if the journalist takes responsibility to screen views and statements that can't be independently verified as credible. Somewhere along the line that ethic has become lost.

The epigraph to the most recent episode of "The Wire" on HBO, which this season is focusing on the media's coverage of crime and the drug war, I think summed up the problem with that DMN story exquisitely: "A lie ain't a 'side of the story,' it's just a lie."

Unfortunately, negative campaigning works to win elections, I know from experience. Madden should take the kid easily, but the wildcards are the smear tactics at play and an anti-incumbent mood that's not personal but still puts the Chairman at risk.

I hear Madden's running a good, local campaign, though, and my prediction is he beats the upstart by a margin of 70-30 or more.

Anonymous said...

Correction: "Election Day" was by the late, great Blaze Foley, not Lyle Lovett.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Ah, damn, I just checked and you're right! That's what I get for giving the quote from memory instead of looking it up! Lovett covered it on "My Baby Don't Tolerate," as I'm sure you're aware - I'll correct the attribution.

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to see a large turnout of Texas voters. About time they exercise their power to influence their government.

Anonymous said...

Heh, as my ol' gaffer used to say...

It's poke and grits for breakfast. Poke out your stomach and grit your teeth.