Local Election News: War Shadows Edition
From lawsuits to candidates in suits
Electronically ChallengedOn Monday, Jan. 6, the Texas Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, seeking to overturn her ruling rejecting "electronic signatures" on Texas voting registration forms. "The decision to reject these applications not only misapplies the Texas Election Code," argues the pleading, "but also contradicts the State's longstanding recognition that electronic signatures carry the force of law." In 2018, an estimated 2,400 registrations were rejected because of the rule, and more potential voters were prevented from registering...
Doggett vs. DSAFacing the growing prospect of war with Iran following the recent U.S. assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett has become increasingly active in opposing the Trump administration's moves toward escalating conflict. At a Monday evening rally at the Capitol, a representative for Doggett said in part, "We stand together because we will not stand for more war. ... Every day Trump is in office, the danger grows. ... Wars are so much easier to get into than to get out of."
In a subsequent press release, Doggett recounted his consistent opposition to the war, including his membership in the House "No War With Iran" Caucus, as well as his co-sponsorship of resolutions opposing the war. He also expressed some irritation with the Austin chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-sponsors of Monday's rally, which they claimed was organized to help convince Doggett to oppose the war. Doggett's release tweaked the DSA's practice of taking credit for persuading him to do things he was already doing (e.g., supporting Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal). "And as usual," reads the release, "DSA, like the rooster claiming credit for the sunrise, is claiming credit for something I already had underway. Only wish they had the capacity and inclination to add to our support..."
Mamá Drops ByMonday afternoon, Annie "Fed Up Mamá" Garcia, one of 12 candidates for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Senator John Cornyn, was in Austin promoting her candidacy and planning for her statewide "Protest Walk" along the Gulf Coast from Houston, across South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, and up through Austin, Dallas, and then parts of West Texas: "420 miles" in all, a number she says she just (happily) learned is coincidentally associated with marijuana legalization. (She's scheduling the walk in part to frame a February debate planned for Austin.)
Garcia said she decided to run because she found no other Dem candidate sufficiently passionate about Trump's actions against immigrants, about universal health care, or other issues – she particularly objects to MJ Hegar's stance on gun regulation, which she says defers to "gun owners' rights" at the expense of victims of gun violence. She had asked her opponents to join her in some specific border action in defense of immigrants – all declined except Houston activist Sema Hernandez. Attorney Garcia works pro bono on immigration cases, operates two small businesses, and manages a nonprofit (OpHeart) that provides technical support to heart surgeons treating newborns. She cites 1996 Democratic candidate Victor Morales as her campaign model. Political novice Morales won the Democratic primary against three experienced opponents – and lost to Phil Gramm in November, 55-44%...