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Democrat Wendy Davis running for Texas governor

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Democrat Wendy Davis running for Texas governor  Reply with quote

Democrat Wendy Davis running for Texas governor

HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) — Democrat Wendy Davis promised a more populist and bipartisan state government in Texas as she declared her long-anticipated candidacy for governor Thursday, but she didn't mention abortion rights, the subject that brought her to national attention.

Speaking before a hometown crowd where she received her high school diploma, the Fort Worth state senator tried to stake out the middle ground, vowing to represent the working class and improve public education, economic development and health care to Texas.

"Texans don't want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington, D.C.," Davis said. "State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done."

Davis has said that her experience going from being a single teen mother living in a trailer to a successful Harvard-trained attorney in the Texas Senate informed her political views. She said Texas needed to be "a lot less lone and a lot more star."

**What is it with all of these Ivy League grads in the national spotlight?

"Until the families who are burning the candle at both ends can finally make ends meet, we will keep going. Until the amazing health care advances being pioneered in this state reach everyone who needs them, we will keep going," she said to about 1,500 people at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum.

Davis then blasted "the current leadership" in Austin for creating a partisan atmosphere and appealing to the right wing of the Republican party.

"Texans deserve better than failed leaders who dole out favors to friends and cronies behind closed doors," she said. "It's time for a governor who believes that you don't have to buy a place in Texas' future. It's time for a governor who believes that the future of Texas belongs to all of us."

Republican Gov. Rick Perry has chosen not to seek re-election next year. The front-runner for the GOP nomination is Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that Davis is too liberal for Texas.

Davis rose to national prominence in June for her nearly 13-hour filibuster against new abortion restrictions in Texas, but she didn't mention the subject Thursday. Instead, she talked about her 2011 filibuster to block passage of the state budget after the Republican majority cut $5 billion for public schools.

Davis' opponents plan to use her support for abortion rights to rally conservative Christian voters next fall. About 40 anti-abortion demonstrators marched outside the venue where Davis was speaking Thursday, and Texas Right to Life plans to begin airing an ad over the weekend that calls her an "abortion zealot."

**Here we go again...Churchianity is being lured into the dogfight!

Abbott called her filibuster "inconsequential" and sought to tie her to President Barack Obama.

"Obama's political operation is the muscle behind Wendy Davis' political operation," Abbott said. "She is an extremist with regards to imposing the kind of spending and regulation that's reckless for government."

If her defense of abortion rights angered the right, it inspired Democrats who urged her to run for governor in 2014 and reinvigorate a party that hasn't won statewide office since 1994. Her speech in the Legislature also added to her donor list, both in Texas and across the country.

"I thought the filibuster was inspiring and it seems like she really cares about people," said Amanda Fisher, a 24-year-old from Dallas. Fisher said she was considering volunteering for a political campaign for the first time.

At a watch party in McAllen, a city along the border with Mexico, retired hospice chaplain Elizabeth Gearhart said Davis could help Democrats.

"She's going to inspire everyone. She's especially going to inspire women," Gearhart said. "And there's a lot of us."

Davis must raise money quickly to compete with Abbott, He has already raised $25 million to her more than $1 million.

Experts say Davis and the political action committees supporting her will need to spend about $40 million to make it a competitive campaign in Texas, where Democrats have not won more than 42 percent of the vote in the last three elections.

But national Democratic support and changing state demographics give Davis a chance to end the party's 20-year losing streak in Texas, Democratic consultants say.

Davis' personal story — from a trailer park to Texas Christian University to the Harvard Law School — has captured the imagination of many of her supporters.

She was a successful attorney when she decided to enter politics by challenging a veteran Republican state senator in Tarrant County in 2008. She narrowly won that race and a tough re-election bid in 2012, when most voters in her district cast ballots for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hegelian Dialectic strikes again

Thesis - Wendy Davis

Antithesis - These controlled-opposition "pro-life" groups

Synthesis - More destruction on the family unit

Anti-abortion activists mobilize against Wendy Davis in Texas

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis became a national political star by standing up for abortion rights last summer — and conservative Texans in the anti-abortion movement say they won’t let her forget it.

The 50-year-old Fort Worth lawyer blocked a bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a dramatic, 11-hour filibuster at the state Capitol that attracted national attention and the adulation of abortion rights advocates in June. Despite Davis’ pink-sneakered filibuster, the bill eventually passed and was signed into law by outgoing Gov. Rick Perry. (The law shaves off four weeks from the amount of time a woman can legally access an abortion and might result in the closure of a third of Texas' abortion clinics because it requires providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.)

But when Davis announced her intention to run for governor in her hometown of Haltom City last week, the topic of reproductive rights did not pass her lips. Instead, Davis focused on investing in public education and emphasized her up-by-the-bootstraps personal story that even her fiercest opponents admit is appealing. Someone tuning in for the first time wouldn’t know Davis had become a powerful symbol for abortion rights around the country.

And that’s exactly what the anti-abortion movement is afraid of. Activists against abortion say their main mission over the next year is to remind voters what Davis’ filibuster was about in the first place. Social conservatives who previously never had to worry about a pro-abortion rights statewide elected official are now busily forming political action committees and readying themselves for a fight

“Wendy will become a lightning rod that has two sides,” said Richard Land, a former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention and an evangelical public policy leader. “She will be as big a motivator for the pro-life movement as she will for the pro-choice movement, no question about it.”

Davis, a Democrat, has raised only $1 million compared to her likely Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s $25 million so far, and Texas is still a solidly red state, despite its slow move leftward due to changing demographics. But abortion foes say it would be a mistake to underestimate her.

“The whole effort this summer was a wake-up call,” said Kyleen Wright, the president of Texans for Life Coalition. “We’re getting ready to jump in and play at a different level.

Wright’s group, which was founded 40 years ago, is forming a PAC for the first time so it can buy ads against Davis.

“Wendy is so much more energizing because she is more extreme,” Wright said. “I think Wendy goes beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.”

The pro-life movement in Texas hasn’t had to contend with a pro-abortion rights governor since Ann Richards won the statehouse in 1991 and held it for a brief four years. (Richards’ daughter, Cecile Richards, is now the president of Planned Parenthood, which is backing Davis.)

“We will spend as much as we can raise,” said Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, another anti-abortion group in the state. They are running radio ads in English and Spanish calling Davis an “abortion zealot” who “believes terminating babies even halfway through pregnancy is OK.”

Davis also has to worry about the ire of national anti-abortion groups, who hope to use the race as part of a larger battle for the “fetal pain” 20-week legislation they’re pushing in state legislatures.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, says the group plans to use Davis’ race as a “springboard” to talk about the 20-week abortion ban, which it wants to pass nationwide. “It will be a high priority,” she said of the Texas race.

The anti-abortion movement’s work to pass 20-week abortion bans is part of a strategy to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding that abortions must be legal until the point that a fetus would be viable outside the womb, usually considered to be at least 24 weeks. (It’s unlikely that this tactic would work at the moment, because Supreme Court swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy upheld the viability principle in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.)

**That and Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and George W Bush appointing pro-abortion justices to the court helped cement Roe V Wade's holding as well. Hate to say it, but they missed the train a long time ago!

But Dannenfelser also says it would be a mistake to underestimate Davis’ ability to win statewide, even though she is currently the underdog. “The scenario where she wins is that enough money gets drilled into this campaign that people start to forget what the filibuster was about,” she said. “It’ll start to get a little fuzzy. ... Our job is to provide perfect clarity about how she became a candidate.”

That means showing voters footage of Davis’ filibuster “over and over and over again,” she added. (A recent fundraising email sent by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Davis' behalf mentioned her filibuster on behalf of public education, not reproductive rights.)

Meanwhile, Abbott, the state attorney general who declared his candidacy in July, enjoys a “vital partnership” with anti-abortion activists in the state and nationwide, Dannenfelser said.

Abbott, who believes abortions should be legal only if the mother is at risk of grave injury or death, addressed the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas in July. “It is great to be in a room full of Americans who are fighting for the full arc of human life from conception until natural death,” he told the convention. “You are heeding the words of Jeremiah, who reminds us that the Lord knew us even before we were formed in the womb.”

Some Republican candidates like Abbott who believe abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest have been painted as extreme (who could forget former Rep. Todd Akin and “legitimate rape”?), and it remains to be seen if the abortion issue could trip him up.

Pro-abortion rights leaders, meanwhile, say they have Davis’ back and do not believe her support for abortion rights will hurt her candidacy.

“Texans are really very much a live-and-let-live kind of people,” said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood. “People in Texas have much bigger issues on their mind — jobs, education.”

Richards said she thinks Davis will pull it off, despite the odds. “This is definitely a David and Goliath race,” she said.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texas Lt. Governor Candidate Leticia Van de Putte as Pro-Abortion as Wendy Davis

In a deeply conservative red state, the few strong abortion supporters who dot the map of Texas are thrilled by one of Texas’s lieutenant gubernatorial candidates, Senator Leticia Van de Putte.

Van de Putte boasts a fairly consistent pro-abortion voting record; indeed, she boasts a D score from the state’s premier pro-life legislative organization, Texas Right to Life. If elected along with gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the near future of women and pre-born children in Texas would be considerably more bleak than it is today, under the stalwart pro-life leadership of Governor Rick Perry.

Here is the full Van de Putte endorsement statement from EMILY’s List:

EMILY’s List Endorses Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor of Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor of Texas. EMILY’s List has also endorsed Wendy Davis for governor of Texas. This is the first time in Texas history that two women will lead a major party’s ticket for top statewide office.

“State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is a tough and inspiring leader who has been a strong voice for women and families in Texas,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “And now she’s ready to take her fight for Texans to the next level as lieutenant governor. For too long, failed leaders in the Lone Star State have gotten away with silencing women and ignoring the real needs of Texas families. But Leticia is focused on building a better future for Texas by standing up for veterans and small business owners. The EMILY’s List community – now three million members strong – is thrilled to support Leticia Van de Putte’s groundbreaking campaign.”

Leticia Van de Putte received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, College of Pharmacy and was a Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Senator Van de Putte has represented the people of San Antonio in the state legislature since 1991. She has served on the Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee where she has been Chair for the past 10 years. She is also a member of the Senate Committees on Business and Commerce, State Affairs, and Education. Senator Van de Putte served as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures from 2006 to 2007 and President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators from 2003 to 2005. She is an involved member of the National Assessment Governing Board and the American Legacy Foundation Board. Nationally, Senator Van de Putte served as Co-Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2013, Leticia was unanimously elected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate’s 83rd Regular Session. Senator Van de Putte famously demanded her defense of women’s healthcare be heard on the state Senate floor earlier this year. She lives in San Antonio with her husband Pete, has six children, and is a proud grandmother.

Leticia Van de Putte would help contribute toward a proud legacy in Texas. In 1990, EMILY’s List helped elect Governor Ann Richards, the first woman governor of Texas elected in her own right.

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $350 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political action committees in the country. Throughout its 28 year history, the organization has recruited and trained over 8,000 women to run, worked to elect 101 pro-choice Democratic women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 10 governors, and over five hundred women to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY’s List helped elect 97% of the Democratic women of color in Congress, including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democrat ic woman currently serving. And during the 2011-2012 cycle, EMILY’s List had the largest number of members and donors in its history and raised a record-breaking $52 million dollars. With the help of this growing community – now three million members strong – EMILY’s List helped elect an historic number of candidates in 2012 including 19 new women to the House, six Senate incumbents, three new Senators, and 186 state and local officials.

It is imperative for the women and unborn children of Texas that pro-life candidates are elected next year. To find out how to support candidates who will be dedicated to life if elected, keep a close eye on Texas Right to Life endorsements and political action events.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know both "political parties" are controlled-opposition, but nonetheless in years past in the state of Texas, something like this would be VERY unthinkable! Honestly, I really don't hear much concern over this in my neck of the woods.

You also can't deny that Davis has her NWO handlers.

Sen. Wendy Davis recalls struggle 'making ends meet' as teen mom

Wendy Davis, who grabbed national headlines last summer by filibustering an abortion bill in Texas, said the same perseverance that fueled her marathon session on the state Senate floor helped transform her from a divorced, teenage mom into a rising political star.

"I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story,” Davis told TODAY’s Maria Shriver on Wednesday. “I am the epitome of hard work and optimism."

Shriver spoke with Davis as part of a week-long #DoingItAll series of stories focusing on the personal and financial challenges that many women in America face.

Davis became a household name after standing for more than 11 hours in her now-iconic pink running shoes to block a bill that imposed harsh abortion restrictions. The bill eventually passed, but Davis’ effort and her story resonated across the country.

Poor and pregnant, Davis got married and had a baby at 18. By 19, she was getting divorced and living in a mobile home park. Davis said those early struggles have shaped everything in her political and personal life.

“I've tried really hard not to put this in the rear view mirror. I've tried to keep it present,” she said during her first trip back to her former trailer park home.

While Davis attended community college outside of Fort Worth, she also worked two jobs to support her young daughter.

“I knew I was poor because of the struggles that I and my young daughter, Amber, were experiencing,” she said. “I was having a really hard time making ends meet, paying for my childcare, paying for a car payment, paying rent and making sure that I kept the lights turned on. Sometimes, it didn't happen.”

Her daughter Amber, now 31, recalled those days.

"I remember the trailer. It was very small and very bare. We didn't have a lot to live on," she said. "I remember staying with my grandparents a lot while she did go to school and go to work."

Davis eventually remarried and had a second daughter. She also applied to Harvard’s law school and got in. She recalled the day she received her acceptance letter.

“I came home. And on my mailbox was the big envelope. It was absolutely a dream come true,” she said.

Practicing law led Davis to politics. She served nine years on the Fort Worth city council before getting elected to the state Senate. Last year, she launched an uphill battle to become governor of Texas, where a Democrat has not filled the office since Ann Richards in 1990. Davis is expected to face Republican Greg Abbot, the state attorney general.

Evan Smith, editor in chief of the Texas Tribune, said Davis may have attracted widespread publicity from her marathon filibuster but that may not be enough to loosen the Republican stronghold in Texas.

"She's attracting a lot of attention nationally and internationally, but at the end of the day, the people who matter are the people in the state,” he said. “This is a conservative state, and so that celebrity outside is great. It helps, but it doesn't necessarily translate into votes."

**Conservative? Dunno about that, especially with all of these megachurches in this state.

Davis is proud of her long journey to personal and professional success, but expressed fear that other women may not be able to follow in her path, mainly because of the rising cost of tuition.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I was saying previously - being from Texas, this is not exactly some uber-conservative state everyone tries to make it out to be. Look at the flood of megachurches here, for example.

Wendy Davis Will Turn Texas Purple

Let’s start by stating the obvious: It is hard for a Democrat to win statewide office in Texas today.  Recently, Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from San Antonio, pointed out that Texas has gone longer than any other state in the union without electing a Democrat to high office.  Which makes Wendy Davis’ ascent in the Texas governor’s race all the more impressive.

This week, a new poll showed Sen. Davis within just seven points of her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott.  The poll shows that 42 percent of Texas voters back Davis, compared to 49 percent for Abbott.  Now, put in the context of the 2002 Texas gubernatorial election—in which Republican Rick Perry won by almost 18 points over his leading Democratic rival—and the seven percent gap between Davis and Abbott is impressive.  In the context of previous polls that showed Abbott widening his lead over Davis, this new poll is even more stunning.  Wendy Davis has a serious shot at becoming the next governor of Texas.

And it’s still early… Davis made news this week challenging Abbott’s lack of support for equal pay laws for women in Texas.  In the fiscally conservative Lone Star State, the Davis campaign has pointed out that Abbott took a 62 percent raise at the expense of taxpayers while failing to support basic access to equal pay protections for women in the state.  Smart contrasts like these will catapult Davis even higher in voter support, especially given that women voters statewide are still more likely to support Abbott than Davis (46 percent to 42 percent).  

That women, who historically lean Democratic, are tipping toward Abbott is also a warning sign to Davis.  After all, Davis shot to widespread notoriety for her 11-hour filibuster of legislation that would severely restrict access to abortion services in the state.  On abortion rights, Texas voters side with Davis—according to June 2013 polling, 79 percent of voters believe that abortion should be legal and available under certain circumstances.  And among independent voters, there’s a 19-point gap between men and women—41 percent of independent women think abortion should be legal and available, compared with 22 percent of men.

Yet notably, although her fervent support of abortion rights catapulted her to prominence—even super-stardom in some circles—Davis does not include women’s rights or any mention of her filibuster on her website.  One might say her campaign’s emphasis on education and jobs is appropriately broadening her appeal, but I’ve spoken with activists in Texas who feel Davis is deliberately abandoning her women’s rights-focused base.  And after I wrote a piece about Wendy Davis recently voicing support for a 20-week ban on abortions, her campaign reached out to me—not to tamp down concerns that Davis was abandoning her base but to clarify that Davis had always opposed later-term abortion access.  At least the recent emphasis on equal pay laws is a step in the right direction, stoking the base that helped create Davis while simultaneously emphasizing more centrist economic issues.  Hopefully Davis will realize that her pro-choice activist image is not a detriment to her election but her main asset, key to closing the gap with women voters who can put her over the top.

As a side note, I think there’s an odd sense of shame on the part of many Democrats who feel that “legitimate” political victory can only come through the votes of white working-class males.  The idea of cobbling together victory through the disparate (though growing) support of white women and voters of color somehow seems to them like cheating a political insecurity clearly preyed upon by conservatives who insist that President Obama only won re-election in 2012 because of “low-information” (read: poor people of color) voters.

The new poll shows that 17 percent of independent voters in Texas are still undecided.  Given the historic, unchallenged dominance of Republicans in the state, that 17 percent of independents are undecided speaks to the potential of the Davis campaign and the purple future of Texas.  Under conventional Texas political circumstances, this race would already be sealed up for the Republican.  The large swath of undecided voters and the narrowing of polling margins generally hints at the potential not only for Davis to win but for Texas to finally, thankfully shift from deep red to bright purple on the national political landscape.  The whole notion of turning Texas purple isn’t based on political centrism but demographic polarization—as  Texas becomes younger and more Latino, it’s becoming more liberal.  Increasingly, to win office in Texas and across America, Democrats don’t have to ape some form of ideologically bland Clinton centrism but, in fact, be extra-liberal to play to the social progressivism and economic populism of the future of the American electorate.

I’m not saying Texas is 100 percent there yet, but I am saying that it’s headed in that direction—and Davis’ path to victory appears to hinge on bridging that transition, bringing along enough of the center-left working class white male vote while maintaining strong support among women and young people and the future of Texas politics.  That her candidacy is faring as well as it is already is a sign of the bright purple Texas to come.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wendy Davis Reveals ‘Unexpected and Dramatically Personal Confession’ in New Book

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who became a national political sensation by filibustering her state’s tough new restrictions on abortion, discloses in her upcoming memoir that she had an abortion in the 1990s after discovering that the fetus had a severe brain abnormality.

In “Forgetting to be Afraid,” Davis also writes about ending an earlier ectopic pregnancy, in which an embryo implants outside the uterus. Davis says she considered revealing the terminated pregnancies during her nearly 13-hour speech on the floor of the Texas Senate last summer — but decided against it, saying “such an unexpected and dramatically personal confession would overshadow the events of the day.”

The Associated Press purchased an early copy of the book, which goes on sale Tuesday.

Both pregnancies happened before Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, began her political career and after she was already a mother to two young girls. Davis catapulted to national Democratic stardom after her filibuster temporarily delayed passed of sweeping new abortion restrictions. She’s now running for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is heavily favored to replace Republican Gov. Rick Perry next year.

The second pregnancy happened in 1996. Davis writes that during her second trimester she took a blood test that could determine chromosomal or neural defects, which doctors first told her didn’t warrant concern. But a later exam revealed that the brain of the fetus had developed in complete separation on the right and left sides, Davis says. She sought opinions from multiple doctors, who told her the baby would be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state if she survived delivery, she writes.

“I could feel her little body tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her, and I knew then what I needed to do,” Davis writes. “She was suffering.”

She goes on to say that an “indescribable blackness followed” the pregnancy and that the loss left her forever changed.

The ectopic pregnancy happened in 1994, and terminating it was considered medically necessary, Davis writes. Such pregnancies generally aren’t considered viable, meaning the fetus can’t survive, and they can endanger the mother’s life. But Davis writes that in Texas, it’s “technically considered an abortion, and doctors have to report it as such.”

Davis’ filibuster in June 2013 set off a chaotic scene in the Texas Capitol that extended past midnight. Thousands of people watched it online, with President Barack Obama at one point tweeting, “Something special is happening in Austin tonight.”

In the book, Davis recalls reading testimony during the filibuster about a woman who had had an abortion after learning her daughter would be born with a terminal illness. She says the story could have been hers and writes about her hands shaking and wiping tears from her eyes.

Davis’ filibuster only temporarily delayed the restrictions, which passed overwhelmingly when Perry called a special legislative session. The measure requires doctors who perform abortion to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and mandates that clinics upgrade its facilities to hospital-level operating standards. A federal judge in Austin last month blocked a portion of the law that would have left Texas with only seven abortion facilities statewide.

Anti-abortion groups, including those that have attacked Davis’ candidacy, expressed sympathy for the tough choice Davis confronted with the second terminated pregnancy but said they hoped all decisions end in choosing to continue a pregnancy.

“That’s an incredibly difficult position for anyone to find themselves in. While our heart goes out for the decision she had to make, again, still the value of life is precious,” Texans Right to Life spokeswoman Melissa Conway said Friday night.

Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch did not return messages seeking comment.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards praised Davis’ “unwavering courage”

“We are grateful to her for sharing her story and shining a light on a subject that is too often hidden in the shadows of shame and stigma by people like Greg Abbott and his allies,” Richards said.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know both political parties are rigged - but nonetheless I hate it when I hear the enemy being right. Being from Texas, I can attest to this(ie-lots of megachurches, Houston has a 2 term sodomite mayor, etc).

Wendy Davis: Texas is 'really on its way' to flipping Democratic

The Daily Show is in Austin to cover the 2014 midterm elections, and on Monday night's show Jon Stewart's guest was Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor. She's down in the polls against the GOP nominee, state Attorney General Greg Abbott. After talking about abortion and voting laws, Stewart got down to brass tacks. "You're having a tough campaign — right now you guys are down a little bit," Stewart said. "How conservative a place is Texas?... You know, we've heard a lot about, 'It's flipping blue,' but it looks like it ain't even flipping, like, a cool azure."

"It's on its way — it's really on its way," Davis said. She said that in their two decades of running the state, Republicans have drawn lots of safe Republican districts and a handful of safe Democratic ones, and that has stifled any political debate.

In Part 2 of the interview, available only online, Stewart returned to the election. Referring to Davis' statement that she's running to start a statewide conversation about public priorities, Stewart asked: "Why isn't it a conversation that's happening in Texas? Or is it a conversation that has happened in Texas, and they truly have decided, 'No, I appreciate what you're saying, but this is the way we want it?'"

This election will test that question, Davis said, "but really, it hasn't been a conversation."

We aren't a part of presidential election-year politics, we haven't had a really hotly contested general-election statewide race in a very, very long time, and it creates a climate where voters are disengaged, and they're not being educated about the issues at hand. [Davis]

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), she noted, was elected with about 800,000 votes in a state of 26 million people. "We're really encouraged by what we see in terms of the opportunity for a statewide Democrat to actually be elected in this state eight days from now," she added. Davis didn't say governor, of course, but later, when pressed, she said, "I'm going to be governor, Jon." Well, we'll see in eight days. --Peter Weber

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