Why is the president coming to Texas, after ignoring the state for the last four years? It is clear to me that this is another cog in the wheel that is the plan to help turn Texas into a blue state in elections. The groundwork has been laid to make Texas a competitive state for Democrats. The efforts may not bear fruit as early as the 2014 elections but it will be noticeable in 2016 and beyond if Texas Republicans do not take the efforts seriously. It is past time to end the attitude that Texas is a solidly red state and the plans of the Democrats are much ado about nothing.
President Obama's campaign partner, Organizing for America, has morphed into an effort to campaign and promote Obama's second term agenda. They are behind such efforts as Battleground Texas. All of that group's leadership comes directly from Team Obama.
So far, it’s going very well.“Texans are so excited, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before,” said Battleground Texas’ executive director, Jenn Brown, the 31-year-old community organizer from Southern California who ran Obama’s field operation in indispensable Ohio in 2012. “Texans are ready. It’s time.”Battleground Texas just completed the first phase of its launch – 14 organizing meetings from Houston to Lubbock that drew 3,200 people interested in signing on to the effort, and the kind of breakout coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Economist and the like that accorded the infant initiative serious consideration as at least potentially a bellwether of epochal political change.
Joining in the efforts, a newly organized group has begun. The Texas County Democratic Campaign Committee has been established with the goal to be "focused on recruiting and supporting county-level Democratic candidates outside of our current urban strongholds."
This effort fits well with the Battleground Texas agenda. It's all about micro-targeting voters in all communities, not just traditional areas of support. With the ever-increasing population gains in Texas brought about by people from other states seeking jobs from other states, the voter demographics are changing. For example, Republicans now have voters living within inner city neighborhoods and Democrats see an increase in their voter population out in the surrounding suburbs.
We want to start by focusing on the policy and budgeting end of county government – commissioners and county judges, for the most part. Administrative and law enforcement offices are a different animal, and we’ll need more time and study to figure out where those might fit in to our plan. In some counties they carry more authority than others. We don’t want to box ourselves out of anything at this point, so we will certainly examine any opportunity. But the commissioners’ courts are where our focus is for now.
All politics is local, right? Right.
And, to round it all out, a wealthy Texas woman is helping Democratic women candidates win local elections, too. At a fundraising luncheon this week for a group headquartered in Austin called Annie's List, this success is noted via email:
I can't believe how great the turnout was at our Houston Luncheon yesterday! Thank you to the 500 women and men that attended our 10th Anniversary Celebration as we gathered with Mayor Annise Parker to hear from our keynote speaker, progressive activist and women's rights champion Sandra Fluke.Yesterday, Annie's List Board Chair, Amber Mostyn, announced a call to action for Houston: she and her husband Steve offered to match every dollar raised up to $30,000!So, follow the money if you want to know what is going on in the world of politics. Steve Mostyn is the very wealthy Houston attorney and big donor to Democrats who is now associated with the Battleground Texas effort. His wife is Amber, also an attorney. Locally, Annie's List has endorsed the re-election of Mayor Annise Parker.