Turning Texas is a group electoral clearinghouse for Democratic races in the Lone Star State. That means Wendy Davis and every other Texas race. We welcome all contributors with an interest in and knowledge about Texas electoral politics.On Monday Wendy Davis' campaign took a serious step toward making this race an epic cage match for control of the Governor's Mansion. In a move sure to draw attention
from donors nationwide, the campaign tapped veteran Democratic operative Karin Johanson to work the same magic she worked for Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and for the 2006 takeover of the US House of Representatives.
On a day that has seen big movement in Texas, with a Federal Judge striking down the restrictive Texas abortion law that precipitated her game-changing filibuster of the Texas Senate back in June, this announcement sends a message to Democrats and Republicans that she intends to create a serious race on her own terms.
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Davis announced Sunday that she has hired Karin Johanson, who helped orchestrate the 2006 Democratic takeover of the U.S. House and most recently served as campaign manager for Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). The announcement comes a little more than three weeks after she formally launched her bid for governor.It is clear from reading the WaPo Opinion piece from 2006 that is linked in the above WP article that Johanson, someone most of us have never heard of, has a substantive record of hard scrabble Democratic partisan politics.
Johanson served as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 election cycle, overseeing a multimillion dollar turnout operation. She also once worked as chief of staff to House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and most recently has worked at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic political consulting shop.
A 2006 Washington Post profile described Johanson as “a political junkie who has been toiling in the backwaters of Democratic politics for more than 30 years” and the counterweight to then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who led the DCCC during the 2006 cycle.
If her boss, the outspokenly partisan Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), is the aggressive face of the Democratic push, Johanson is his anchor, the person who can sit at her office near the Capitol and see the whole country at a glance -- or in critical little parts that might add up to a win.Today also saw Davis having to sign an affidavit in order to cast her early voting ballot, a result of the restrictive Voter ID law almost certainly designed to make it more difficult for women to cast a vote for Davis.
"She's Rahm's other side," says friend Mary Beth Cahill, who ran Sen. John F. Kerry's presidential bid in 2004. "Someone has to be there every day to make sure everything works."
Add gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis to the growing list of women who are having problems voting because of Texas' new photo ID law.Targeting women is the new preferred method in Texas, at least when a strong one like Davis is up for fighting a weak man like Greg Abbott, the current Attorney general and all but inevitable Republican challenger.
Davis, a Democratic state senator, was voting early in Fort Worth on Monday morning when poll workers made her sign an affidavit to verify her identity.
Her photo ID included her maiden name, Wendy Russell Davis. But voter registration records showed: Wendy Davis.
Todays hiring of Johanson should have Abbott and his Tea Party operatives sitting up and taking notice. It is a move that shows she intends to win.