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Texas may not be turning blue this year, but Houston seems to be getting bluer by the day.  As most of you probably know, the Houston Chronicle endorsed Barack Obama for President.  This was the Chronicle's first endorsement of a Democrat for President since LBJ in 1964.  But in any event, the Chronicle (although getting more moderate) has definitely trended more conservative than not in the down-ticket races.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened my newspaper this morning and was greeted with the Editorial page headline - "Houstonian Rick Noreiga is an old-fashioned Texas Democrat with the right voice for these new times."

Some of the notable quotes from the endorsement:

Come January, the halls of Congress will likely be populated by strengthened Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Texas will need able representation in all arenas in that shifting legislative environment.

It will be especially important for Texans to have a strong, respected voice inside the expected Democratic majority in the Senate. Rick Noriega offers such a voice, with a distinctive Lone Star tone and perspective. The Chronicle endorses Noriega for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican John Cornyn.

When I first moved to Texas in 1962, there was no such thing as a Republican party in Texas.  The Chronicle seems to remember those days.

Noriega, a Houstonian, describes himself as a Texas Democrat. That term, once common currency in the state's political conversation, seems to have fallen out of favor over the past several Republican-dominated years. But it resonates once more in this season of voter discontent with partisanship uber alles. Some old-fashioned moderate bipartisanship, Texas style, should be much welcomed in the Washington debate, particularly on overheated topics such as energy and immigration. Rick Noriega can provide it.

The Chronicle goes on to say how Noreiga should represent Texas well in these two areas (energy and immigration), but particularly the hot-button topic of immigration.

On immigration, Noriega is in step with traditional Texas views of tolerance and a warm embrace of cultural differences, rooted in respect for the law. He will bring calm and reason to the national debate.

Ah, but what about his opponent?  Didn't you guys endorse him 6 years ago? My emphasis in bold.  I can personally attest to the last statement about constituent services.

Our decision to support Noriega was not made without due consideration of Cornyn's strengths. The one-term incumbent has been a strong and reliable supporter of freedom of information and open government laws. And he worked to speed up the citizenship process for immigrants serving in the military. But John Cornyn also has been a too-loyal foot soldier for the Bush administration, willing to make a right turn off the cliff in support of fatally flawed policies on Iraq and torture, as well as casting improvident votes on a host of social issues. Unlike Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, he is not known for his attention to constituent services.

They go on to discuss his distinguished history, saying that "he richly deserves a promotion to Washington."  Then they wrap it up thusly.

Noriega is showing himself to be the model of an effective Democrat — a centrist, moderate Texas Democrat — in a time when most voters are sick of political extremes. As such, he may one day set the standard for what a strong Texas senator can be.

...

Rick Noriega reflects the new face of Texas while speaking in the welcome tones of moderation that are a tradition worth reviving. The Chronicle urges a vote for Noriega for U.S. Senate.

The full endorsement can be found here:

http://www.chron.com/...

Originally posted to fortuna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for a Blue Houston? (20+ / 0-)

    "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Mark Twain

    by fortuna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:12:58 AM PDT

  •  This will be a help (6+ / 0-)

    I know endorsements in Presidential races don't help a lot as there is so much information out there for voters to form an opinion.

    But the lower down the ticket you get, the more an endorsement can help. In races for dog catcher, district judge, etc., they're pretty important. (By the time you reach that level, you're either voting straight party, against the scandal-ridden incumbent, or for whoever the paper says to vote for.)

    I still think Noriega would be the upset of the night.

  •  Yay! Noriega would be great for Texas (4+ / 0-)

    He still needs money to get his message out...Orange to Blue for Noriega

    •  Thanks for posting this. I was planning to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue armadillo

      do it but I got in a hurry.

      "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Mark Twain

      by fortuna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you get a chance to put it in your diary (0+ / 0-)

        it might get more attention too.  

        Our paper endorsed Cornyn and McCain. I cancelled immediately.  Usually, I don't really care, but any paper that could endorse a ticket with that dangerous idiot Palin on it is just worthless.  They evidently had MANY cancellations Sunday morning, according to the customer service rep I spoke to!

  •  Great news! I just wish the Dallas Morning News (7+ / 0-)

    had more courage.  They endorsed McCain and, of course, Cornyn and Sessions.  They've followed up these pathetic endorsements by an editorial attributing the economic meltdown to both parties and another pleading with people not to vote the straight ticket.  I hear lots of people are calling to cancel their subscriptions. So many, that a friend reports that the DMN is planning to do an article on it.  Glad to see the Houston Chronicle has some sense.

  •  In the model of Bentsen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In her own Voice, fortuna, Floande

    and Sen. Bentsen was very much a centrist Texas Democrat. I will be happy to see Cornyn retired.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:27:36 AM PDT

    •  I don't know if you read the whole endorsement, (0+ / 0-)

      but Noreiga says he channels Bentsen (WWBD?)

      "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Mark Twain

      by fortuna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:54:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cornyn has higher ambitions (0+ / 0-)

      according to the San Antonio Express News

      Friends and detractors alike describe the San Antonio lawyer as a man of great ambition who might one day run for president or become a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. "The sky's the limit," said Cornyn adviser David Beckwith, a veteran GOP operative who once served as press secretary to Vice President Dan Quayle.

      There was a bit more, but it all pointed to him wanting to use another Senate term to position himself for a possible White House run in the future.

      Box Turtle for President! gak.  It would be nice to retire him early.  Or on the Supreme Court?  A loyal Bushie??? Oh please, no.

  •  Yea! The old Chron is coming through (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, OrangeMike, fortuna, Floande

    this time! Hope Noriega and Skelly get some of Obama's trickle down contributions! Both need more exposure!

    Oh, btw, I just received yesterday an "answer" from John Cornyn to my email at the beginning of the bailout.  Here it is for all to see: (Oh, and notice the significant lack of mentioning any of the wall street culprits with main focus remaining on Freddie and Fannie who are "gummint sponsored".  He's got to go!

    Thank you for contacting me about the current financial crisis.  I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

    I, like many Texans, am angry and frustrated that the United States is in the current financial crisis.  As a strong supporter of the free market, I am opposed to unnecessary government intervention in the economy.  As you know, the federal government has recently taken several steps to ensure that our financial system remains stable for the growth of our economy.  Any actions by the federal government must be temporary and limited.  Furthermore, any taxpayer money that is used to support our troubled economy must be subject to strict oversight and be repaid—in full—to the American people.  Hard-working, financially responsible Texans should not have to pay for the irresponsible behavior of corporate executives who abused their positions.  These executives must now be held fully accountable under the law.    

    The current financial crisis was caused, to a large extent, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—two government sponsored enterprises that played a central role in the much maligned mortgage market by guaranteeing loans to individuals who could not pay them back.  Together, these two agencies own or guarantee nearly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market.  I have long advocated that Congress reform both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to protect taxpayers.  In 2006, I urged the Senate Majority Leader to bring reform legislation before the full Senate after reports that Fannie Mae intentionally overstated its earnings by $10.6 billion.  This reform legislation would have increased oversight and taken steps to protect taxpayers from the risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posed to our economy.  Regrettably, the Senate did not consider these reforms because special interest groups lobbied their Congressional allies to prevent this legislation from being debated.

    Furthermore, risky business practices by irresponsible financial institutions have caused great stress on our credit market, limiting the amount of credit available to both individuals and businesses.  America’s system of credit is the lifeblood of our economy as it affects thousands of purchases and investments made in our country each day.  Without access to credit, small businesses cannot pay their employees and working families cannot receive the loans necessary to send their children to college or purchase a new home or car.  It is critical for our economy that the financial crisis be prevented from spreading to families and businesses across Texas which would result in many Texans losing their jobs, diminished college funds for their children, and a loss of hard-earned retirement savings.

    Finally, it is imperative that all parties associated with the current financial crisis are aggressively investigated and that any corporate executives found to be involved in criminal activities are swiftly prosecuted.  I intend to ensure that a thorough criminal investigation is conducted and that those responsible for violating any criminal laws of the United States are held accountable.  As such, I have called on the Attorney General to begin a criminal investigation of executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  It is because of their poor—and possibly criminal—business practices that American taxpayers and our nation’s economy are in jeopardy.  Soon after the Attorney General received my request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced an investigation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and multiple Wall Street financial firms.  

    I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as the 110th Congress draws to a close.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    JOHN CORNYN
    United States Senator

    Find your own voice--the personal is political.

    by In her own Voice on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:27:46 AM PDT

    •  The Chronicle hasn't endorsed yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      In her own Voice

      in the Skelly/Culberson race.  I'll be really interested to see what they say.

      "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Mark Twain

      by fortuna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 06:55:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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