A Texas Green Party Story

I wrote in one or two earlier posts that I had a negative experience with the Texas Green Party many years ago. I am not forgetting to write about it, just procrastinating. I want to remember that it was in the summer of 2002 at the Texas Green Party state convention at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas. In short, I was invited to the event by a local Green Party member, was told to leave by a state Green Party member (David Cobb) because I was an elected official with the Democratic Party, wrote a letter to the editor on the experience to the San Antonio Express News, and generally stopped trying to work along with the Green Party altogether until Kat Swift ran for San Antonio city council in 2007.

In truth I have no problem with the Green Party locally or internationally. Their Ten Key Values are meaningful and generally are a good platform for many liberals like me to work toward.

As a Democrat myself, I also believe in the value of third parties in the United States. Open up a U.S. History book and read about Lincoln’s Republican Party or the socialists and Midwestern populists of the late 19th and early 20th century to see the real value and importance of third parties in America. I have even been a member of a third party, the now defunct New Party.

The Importance of Being Governor

Many political pundits in Texas would say the real power in Austin sits with the Lieutenant Governor. I would like to believe that the Governor has the real power in the end of the day. He makes the appointments and signs those bills into law, or not.

I first voted for Governor Ann Richards, then voted against Governor George W. Bush, reluctantly voted for Tony Sanchez, voted against Governor Rick Perry, and am inclined to vote for Bill White this election around. Gary Mauro was up against Governor Bush, and Chris Bell, Kinky Friedman, and Carol Strayhorn were up against Governor Perry, by the way. I suppose you can say I voted for Richards in ‘94, against Bush in ‘98, voted the lesser of two evils in ‘02, voted against Perry in ‘06, and since that first election I voted in, 16 years ago, am actually planning on voting for a candidate for governor. I should note the zero for four record in voting for governor. (My record as a candidate for office is six for eleven, but who’s counting?)

The point is this is the first time in a long while that I believe that the loyal opposition (the Democrats) have put up a candidate for governor worth voting for. So far, I feel good about Bill White, enough so that I went to sit in on a volunteer training and visited the local campaign office in San Antonio. Things can change however, well, except for voting against Governor Rick Perry.

100 Days

It is actually closer to 98 days until the general elections in Texas and my home town, San Antonio. From county commissioner, justice of the peace, state rep, to the governor, there are plenty of reasons to get registered, get informed, and get out and vote.

With less then 100 days until election day, I will be getting a lot of campaign literature urging me to vote this way or that, and I will be sharing what I get with you. As election day comes closer I will be commenting on the campaign literature I pick up and will make somewhat more thoughtful posts on specific candidates and issues.

For the most, I will be following three candidates for office, Kat Swift, the Green Party candidate for Bexar County Commissioners Court, District 2, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Democratic Party candidate for State Board of Education, District 5, and Bill White, Democratic Party candidate for Governor. You will notice no Republicans, that may be because I am a liberal Democrat in a very conservative part of town, it may be because I am still looking at the race for State Representative in District 122, my own district, and am still learning about all the candidates, the Republican being Lyle Larson.

In the end I will try to look at as many campaigns as I care to follow and will keep you somewhat up to date on why I am supporting this candidate or that one.