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Grassroots volunteers (see Fighting-Dems.com) who have been working with WesPAC and the Eric Massa campaign staff have been coordinating live-blogging efforts for the Veterans for a Secure America (see Band of Brothers 2006) along with vet campaigns to give the netroots a chance to interact with these candidates.  Texas needs to be reclaimed for the Democrats. It is the center of some of the worst corruption among Republicans and the redistricting scandal that led to more Republicans being elected has to be reversed. The Fighting Dems are the best answer Democrats have to take back the statehouse and Congress.

In the spotlight are:
Bob Gammage, a Fighting Dem vet running for Governor of Texas;
Ciro Rodriguez (TX 28th) , a former U.S. representative who, though not a vet, is a Fighting Dem with service on the Veterans Healthcare subcommittee;
Ten TX Congressional candidates: Duane Shaw, USN (TX-01), Dan Dodd, USAF (TX-03), Charlie Thompson, USN (TX-05), David Harris, USAR (TX-06), David Murff, USA (TX-07), Ted Ankrum, USN  (TX-10), Paul Foreman, USN (TX-10), Roger Waun, USAR (TX-13), John Courage, USAF  (TX-21), Bolaños, Rick, USA (TX-23).

Support Robert A. "Bob" Gammage for Governor, ex-state Supreme Court Justice, ex-U.S. Representative.

Read more here and you will see among other things that Judge Bob Gammage is a Lawyer, teacher, and veteran of both Army and Navy service, including a tour of duty in Korea; Captain (Ret.) in the U. S. Naval Reserve. In addition to the Texas Supreme Court and U.S. House of Representatives, Bob was elected to the Texas Court of Appeals, to the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. He is an outstanding Legislator and member of the corruption-fighting Dirty Thirty. Read about how Veterans are Standing up for Bob Gammage.  One of our Fighting Dems, Rick Bolaños, is President of Veterans for Gammage. And General Clark is letting the stops out doing calls for Bob. People walk up to him and say, "I got a call from General Clark and he said I should vote for you." WesPAC grassroots volunteers have also been manning phone banks in support of Bob Gammage.
Website :: Contact :: Donate

Return Ciro Rodriguez to Congress (TX-28) . Ex-U.S. Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez was a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Ranking Member of the Veterans Affairs Committee in Congress.

Ciro D. Rodriguez was a vocal advocate to provide our troops with the equipment they need to do the job. Ciro has also been a leader in providing the resources we need to ensure the transition of returning soldiers and of providing all our veterans with health care they deserve. Help elect a true fighter who knows what it means to honor the sacrifices of our Veterans. NOTE: While Rodriguez is challenging a Dem incumbent, there is no Republican challenger. The Democrat who wins the primary will most certainly win the general election despite third party candidate. Dino Dem Cuellar's voting record sucks. The Irregular Times put it bluntly, "Henry Cuellar is a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, but that doesn't mean he votes as a Democrat ought to vote. Henry Cuellar's voting record shows that he is as often aligned with right wing special interest groups as he is with the American people.
Read how the blogosphere supports Cior's candidacy on MyDD by Chris Bowers.
Website :: Donate

Elect our Fighting Dem vets to take back the Hill!

Ted Ankrum for U.S. Congress (TX-10)

Service: Captain, U.S. Navy; Major Navy reserve. 15 years of active duty and 15 years of Reserve serve. Combat veteran of four tours in Vietnam. Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Navy Commendation Medal, Vietnamese Medal of Honor and Cross of Gallantry, Purple Heart; 20% Disabled Veteran.
Opponents: Freshman Republican Mike McCaul; for Democratic primary, writer Paul Foreman, attorney / ex-police officer Kyle Kincaid, nurse Elsie "Pat" Mynatt, retired realtor Sid Smith.
District Profile: McCaul pulled 79% in '04. A Solid Republican "red" district.
Website: TedAnkrum.com
bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

Rick Bolaños for U.S. Congress (TX-23)

Service: Rick Bolaños is a member of the original Band of Brothers, four siblings from El Paso who all served in Viet Nam at the same time. They were recognized by LBJ for their service and again by the 79th Texas Legislature.
Opponents: 7th term Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla; no Democrat opponents.
District Profile: Bolaños acknowledges it will be an uphill battle to win, but believes he can do it.

Website: BolanosforTexas.com
bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

John Courage for U.S. Congress (TX-21)

Rank: U.S. Air Force
Service: Enlisted in 1971 and served 4 years during the Vietnam Era.
Opponent: Incumbent 10th term Republican Lamar S. Smith. No Democrat challengers. Courage was also the '02 nominee.
District Profile: Lamar Smith won by 62.5% in '04. It is considered a solid Republican "red" distinct.

Website: CourageforCongress.org
bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

Dan Dodd for U.S. Congress (TX-03)

Rank: Lt Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Service: Two consecutive tours in Vietnam; Pentagon program manager for "Star Wars" program.
Opponent: 8th term Republican incumbent Sam Johnson. No other announced Dem candidates. Johnson faces a GOP challenger.
District Profile: Johnson won with 87% in 2004. It is considered solid Republican but all bets are off this year. Note: Dan was a classmate of Wes Clark at West Point (class of '66).

Website: DanDodd.us

bio :: issues :: donate

Paul Foreman for U.S. Congress (TX-10)

Service: Yeoman, USN. Two years active duty and four years in the reserves, Paul was honorably discharged and qualified as a Vietnam veteran.  In Iwakuni Japan, he became the classified yeoman for Fleet Air Wing Six.
Opponents: Freshman Republican Mike McCaul; for Democratic primary, Vet and ex-EPA official Ted Ankrum, attorney / ex-police officer Kyle Kincaid, nurse Elsie "Pat" Mynatt, retired realtor Sid Smith.
District Profile:
Website: PaulForeman.com
bio :: issues

David Harris for U.S. Congress (TX-06)

Service: Major, U.S. Army Reserves.  
Twelve years active duty, then Army reserves. Mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and deployed to Iraq as a Logistics Officer. Received Bronze Star.
Opponent: 11th term Republican incumbent Joe L. Barton; Harris has no Dem opponents.
District Profile: 2004 was Smoky Joe Barton's worst showing -- 66% of the total vote. While that may not be a sign of trouble, it's also not the 76% Barton picked up in 1994.

Website: FollowmetoDC.com
bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

David Murff for U.S. Congress (TX-07)

Service: U.S. Army. Stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas.
Opponent(s): 3rd term Republican incumbent John A. Culberson. Dem primary opponent James Henley.
District Profile. Although Culberson won with 64.1% and Bush by 63.8% in '04, the recent redistricting removes the Republican advantage once held. It now has a Hispanic population of 29% and an African American population of 13%. Discontent and increased minority residents have changed the political climate.

website :: bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

Duane Shaw for U.S. Congress (TX-01)    

Service: USN, Six years on active duty aboard the USS Dahlgren, (a guided missile destroyer) he was released to inactive reserves in December of 1987 and honorably discharged from service in 1989.
Opponents: Freshman incumbent Republican Louis B. "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. Dem challenger Roger Owen.
District Profile: Gohmert received 61.5% of the vote in '04. Another tough race in what has been a solid Republican district.
website :: bio :: issues
donate: Duane Shaw For Congress Committee, P.O. Box 155232, Lufkin, Texas 75915-5232

Charlie Thompson for U.S. Congress (TX-05)

Service: Commander, U.S. Navy. Served as Deputy Director/Surface Electronic Warfare Directorate & as Chief of Research & Development, Surface Electronic Warfare Directorate, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
Opponent(s): 2nd term incumbent Republican Jeb Hensarling. Democrat primary opponent Patrick Wilson.
District Profile: Hensarling had a lead of 64.5% in '04. Solid Republican. Thompson has good credentials and ranks high among the challenges to Republican incumbents.

website :: bio :: issues :: donate

Roger J. Waun for Congress (TX-13)

Service: USAR. ROTC. graduate serving 16 years as a Strategic Intelligence Officer. He held a Top Secret security clearance with active duty tours at NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and at Headquarters of the U.S. Army's Recruiting Command.
Opponents: 6th term incumbent Republican William M. "Mac" Thornberry; no Democrat opponent.
District Profile: Thornberry got 92.3% in '04; a solid Republican "red" district.
website ::  bio :: issues :: blog :: donate

Other races:  In one race, the vet chose the wrong party: 8th term incumbent Chet Edwards (D) is facing Republicans C. Tucker Anderson and the Iraqi veteran Van Taylor (R). Chet only won with 51.2% in '04 and he needs support to hold his seat.

Originally posted to Veterans for a Secure America on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:09 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ted Ankrum/TX 10: I'm here (none)

    Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

    by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:10:56 PM PST

  •  What is the difference with this and (none)
    IAVA pac that is run by the Operation Truth founder, Paul Hackett, and Wesley Clark?
    •  I'll leave it to the sponsors of either PAC to (none)
      respond

      Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

      by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:16:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are a number of PACs supporting vets (none)
      IAVA supports vets of Iraq and Afghanistant, VetPAC supports vets of either party, BandofBrothers2006 supports Fighting Dems and is the official site for Veterans for a Secure America, of whom Ted Ankrum is a founding member.

      Fighting-Dems.com is my own site that I put up to support Fighting Dems.

      http://www.fighting-dems.com

      The FD Team is a group of volunteers who support Wes Clark and are working with the Massa campaign, but have extended our efforts to help Fighting Dems everywhere.

      Hi Ted!

      Noel Schutz

  •  VETPAC.org (none)
    VETPAC.org is the official web site.

    "Dissent is the truest form of patriotism." -Thomas Jefferson

    by nickDFT on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:16:35 PM PST

    •  Yes, VetPAC is instrumental (none)
      Eric Massa (NY-29) followed up on th kos/Air America initiative for Fighting Dems to get the FDs together and organized a seminal meeting in DC in mid-December with more than a dozen of the FDs. Then they met again, nearly 3 dozen strong or so, in mid-January and formed the Veterans for a Secure America and a steering committee. ERic then approached Mike Lyon of BoB2006 to be the official site and then Col. Klass, the exec dir of VetPAC to help lead the effort. VetPAC and BoB2006 then co-sponosred the Salute to VSA in DC on February 8th with the Press Conference with Max Cleland before the capital and a fundraiser at night. General Clark has been spportive through out and on Sunday on ABC said he supported "each and every one" of the FDs. Senator Kerry and Max Cleland have also lead with support as well as many other lawmakers.
  •  TX 10 (none)
    The small info panel on TX 10 paints a picture that is worse than it actually is.  The incumbent won by 79% in 04 because there was no Democrat on the ballot.  It was a new "Delay" district, constructed for the current incumbent by his father in law.  The district, based on 02 voting data (which Delay used) is 58% Republican.  But, the district has changed since 02.

    Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

    by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:24:28 PM PST

    •  It is true that in '04 few of the seats now (none)
      challenged by Fighting Dems were opposed by the Democrats. The Fighting Dems have jumped into the breach for the Democratic Party to oppose the neocons henchmen across the nation.
  •  John Courage (none)
    While the district makeup above states that John's opponent (Lamar Smith) received 62.5% of the vote in 2004, the guy who can against him (Rhett Smith) was a private security guard who took zero part in any coordiated campaign, never filed an FEC report, and in other words basically didn't really run a campaign.

    He is currently running in the Republican gubernatorial primary. True!

    Still, in Travis County (Austin) Rhett Smith still received 47% of the vote. Travis accounts for nearly half of the total vote in John's race--with a strong campaign, winning Travis County and cutting margins elsewhere should be doable.

    I would suspect that a lot of the district makeups above have more to them than just the Republican percentage. Candidates?

    "Dissent is the truest form of patriotism." -Thomas Jefferson

    by nickDFT on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:26:59 PM PST

    •  TX 10 makeup (none)
      43% of the vote is in Travis County (Austin), and over half of that is in State House District 48, which was just won in a special election by Democrat Donna Howard.  37% is in Harris County (Houston).  The remainder is in 6 mostly rural counties between the two.  Those counties generally vote Republican at the top of the ticket, and Democrat at the local level (except Washington County).  The Harris County part has a lot of new Americans from Vietnam and South Asia.  A Vietnamese businessman upset a very senior Republican in the Tx House in 04, runing a self-funded campaign.

      Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

      by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:33:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rhett Smith (none)
      I ran across this guy on Sunday, when an Austin Church was sponsoring a meet the candidates event during the service.  He didn't sound much like a Democrat to me.  In fact, i couldn't figure out what he was.

      Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

      by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:39:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great to have Ted Ankrum on board... (none)
    Many of the FDs are beating the pavement, but some have said they will drop by the next hour or so.

    Here is a statement sent by David Murph that he asked to be posted.

    David Murff for Congress Statement:

    After seeing all of the destruction in our nation's government, I decided to make a difference and throw my hat in the ring for congress knowing that I could bring integrity and honesty back to our great country.  I joined the Band of Brother's during my campaign and I met with this group in February in Washington DC.  I came back home, after that meeting, inspired and driven to bring change to our country.  I am excited about the opportunity to lead, and after tomorrow's election, I would be honored to continue my plight to unseat John Culberson, and finally give the constituents of CD7 a voice.

    I appreciate your support, and look forward to seeing you at the polls.  And, remember, vote Murff for Congress!

    Sincerely,
    David Murff
    Democratic Candidate for Congressional District 7, TX
    281-335-4777      

  •  TX-01 is historically Democratic (none)
    Every county in what is now TX-01 was represented in Congress by a democrat since at least 1992 (on-line historical database limit) prior to the redistricting in '03. Ralph Hall (DINO) bolted the Democratic party after redistricting because Smith County (Tyler) was shifted to TX-01.

    (TX-01 Max Sandlin, TX-02, Jim Turner, TX-04, Ralph Hall (DINO), Ralph was smart enough to know he couldn't be elected as a Republican with

    Gohmert's 62% was 7% less then Bush received and turnout in '04 was driven entirely by Bush' presence on the ballot. Bush was the only reason Gohmert was elected in '04, and he won't be there in '06.

    Support Duane Shaw (TX-01) for Congress.

    by Tomtech on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:41:50 PM PST

  •  An Urgent Message Just recieved from Texas (none)
    The following statement is from a dedicated Ciro supporter:

    Fellows Dems here in my city just little while ago received calls from the NRA telling them to vote in the Democratic primary for Cuellar not Ciro.  Since the NRA is notoriously pro-GOP, these strong Dems found the NRA call rather suspicious.   Also, an election source indicated that the Repub's expect may Repubs to cross over to the Democratic primary in order to vote for Cuellar.  Gee whiz!  Cuellar's such a "good Democratic" that he has the Club for Growth, the NRA making calls for him!

    The Texas Republicans are messing with the Democratic primary so that they can sent Dino Democrat Cuellar back to Congress.  
    •  This is typical Repub tactics (none)
      lowdown dirty cretin thugs. How do you fight tactics like this? How do you get the truth out when they employ these tactics at the last minute?

      I don't understand how Repubs can vote in a Dem primary anyways. In CA I had to re-register Dem (from Green) to vote in the Dem primary in '04. Why are all the states different? Grrrrr.

    •  Well, no surprise there. (none)
      I hate open primaries!

      "You cannot successfully run the world on comic book slogans and third rate biblical homilies."...Digby.

      by pelican on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 05:08:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rotten to the core... (none)
      Country before Party!!!  
    •  diabolical (none)
      Well, if crossover voters throw the tide to Cuellar tomorrow, that's intolerable, and it will require a massive response.

      It should be possible to identify some districts where Club for Growth incumbents can be taken down by Democrat crossover votes in GOP primaries. It may also be possible to re-prioritize Club-endorsed GOP incumbents in races where they don't face a primary.

      If they take to voting in Democratic primaries, we have to respond to that. I think if we can unify, we can put a stop to that. There are a lot more Democrats than there are Club for Growth Republicans. They're dangerous, but let's remember that their founder and guru failed to win his race against Arlen Specter. They can be beaten. Even many Republicans don't want to see the Club dominate more of their party than it already does.

      Let's watch carefully what happens tomorrow.  

  •  My message when talking to a "mixed" (none)
    group has been "You don't have to be a Democrat to vote for this one". So many Democrats I talk to are almost desperate that this election is the last chance they see to pull the country back from an abyss.  However, contrast that with the turnout in early voting.  The last I heard, it was about 5%.  If past patterns hold, that means a turnout of 11% in the primary.  Have Democrats in Texas given up?  I'm hoping that we are seeing the Strayhorn/Kinky effect, in which a lot of Dems are staying away from the primary to sign those two petitions.  The "conservative" vote could be split on Nov and a Dem elected Gov.

    Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

    by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:48:16 PM PST

  •  Got to go: Ted Ankrum/TX 10 (none)

    Democrat running in TX-10. [Contribute http://www.actblue.com/contribute/entity/9049/]

    by Ted Ankrum on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 04:51:41 PM PST

  •  Keep on rocking, fighting TX Dems. (none)
    You guys are awesome.
  •  TX-01 District (none)
    Well I'm finally here and hope I found the right page  to answer questions.

    I agree with Tom Tech that District 01 is historically Democratic. I also agree that Gohmert carried 61% against Max.
    So what.
    For a long time now, I been told that because of the Tyler vote in Smith County, I don't stand a chance of beating Gohmert. Folks, can't never did anything and I refuse to let a man who has sold out to large corporations and the wealthiest 1% contiune to blindly follow when it is leadership that this country needs. We can and we will take Texas 01 back into the Demo fold but action speaks louder than words. This must be an organized concerted effort to get the message out to the voters and end this apathy.

    Duane Shaw

    •  Good luck to you tomorrow (none)
      And thanks so much for dropping by.

      "You cannot successfully run the world on comic book slogans and third rate biblical homilies."...Digby.

      by pelican on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 05:31:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Question Anyone? (none)
        AS this media is new to me let me start anew by introducing myself. My name is Duane Shaw and 'm running as a Democratic nominee for the Texas-01. I'm available for any questions you might have for me for the next 15 minutes as time is now very precious.
        •  Hi Duane. Welcome to the blogoshere. (none)
          The netroots will become acquainted with you over the next few months. Keep a truckin'. You are one of our FDs.

          We luv you all... Because you are standing in the trenches where others fear to tread. Our FD angels.

          Noel

        •  Welcome! (none)
          And good luck!  How do you think tomorrow will go?  Are you looking forward to it?  What's your plan for primary day?
          •  Tomorrow (none)
            Well, this is the first primary I have evr been a candidate in so I'm reminded of the old Dewey-Truman fiasco. Seriously though, I think that we have a very good opportunity to win tomorrow. I tried to stick with the issues that are close to the people of the District and the nation as a whole. This may sound a "hokey" but I promised my Mom I would be at her house on primary night.
            •  Goodnight all (none)
              I suppose I better get some research done as I will be voting early in the morrow. Next time, I try to get individualized instruction using blogs. Guess I have to register with y'all no matter what happens in the a.m. Many thanks to all of you and especially Noel for inviting me tonight and I hope that the next time we talk, I'll be the nominee and can address the issues that are of particular concern to you. Keep up the great work you are doing and by the way, I could use your input too. That's one on the reasons I've been a democrat since Bobby ran (which was before I could vote).

              Thanks again,

              Duane Shaw

              P.S. Noel asked me for my contribution page and I gave it to him. Please do not contribute to me until or unless I win tomorrow.

    •  Duane! (none)
      We have a better platform. clich here for a front paged entry.

      Support Duane Shaw (TX-01) for Congress.

      by Tomtech on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 06:35:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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