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Yup. You can sort of imagine the guy sitting in front of you having roamed America's untamed wild lands, killin' bears at twelve and dragging back tall tales from the frontier.

But today's Daniel Boone is actually a vegetarian unlike his famous namesake (and he prefers Dan) but sure does love his tall tales ... and, as for bear killin', says he's quite content to leave his "friends of the land and of the water" to their own devices.

What this Dan Boone can do, quite deftly, is take a punch to his political solar plexus in style and turn it into a winning stroke. Saturday was such a day.

As a small group of us Democratic activists sat in the café at the Tri Point Y, we were shortly joined, first by my candidate Daniel Boone, then an almost equal force of firefighters. That latter had come to plead their case for support of their continued benefits from the local county Democrats.

Being new to the campaign and eager to cultivate allies, I quickly asked for the guys for the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association's endorsement.

"Hate to say this but we and the police association already endorsed your opponent," their legislative director replied. He then explained how they'd first taken their case to a Texas Senate Democrat to no avail. The Republican, whom the firefighters had battled the previous election, had taken up their cause so they endorsed her campaign.

A hush fell over the table as our group of Turn Texas Blue diehards digested that news.

The silence meandered into squirmingly uncomfortable territory when a voice boomed, "I know. I know. Firefighters are an utter waste of taxpayer dollars."

All heads pivoted in unison toward Dan, who just sat there with a wicked grin waiting for the pivoting to stop. "... Until people wake up at 2 a.m. and smell smoke engulfing their house," he continued. "Then they pay attention and want to make sure firefighters and police are taken care of. I believe in taking care of you guys always as our first line of defense."

Shock turned to smiles all around and with all eyes now on him, Dan finished, "I know you have to endorse the people who work with you in out there, but the primaries are over and it's time to get to the real work. I could sure use your help."

"Call me," said the fireman.

And that, folks, is classic Dan Boone charm.

Yet, it is that very folksiness that too often gets in his way. Local media -- and yes, at least one liberal blogger -- have dismissed Dan out of hand as unserious. But they've got him wrong, as I learned after asking him that very question. Truth is, he's often too serious.

"I'm a bit like the President in that I come off sounding professorial. I am full of ideas and I could go on for hours about them," he told me. "Media people don't have that kind of time and their eyes glaze over when you get into the details. I'm actually quite serious. I've got kids and grandkids and I do this because nobody else steps up and this is too important to leave to chance."

And what exactly are these pressing matters that so stoke this father of four's political passions and have him shouting "Bring it on!!" to his Tea Party opponent? In no particular order, he addresses them over a glass of Texas iced tea:

Women's Rights:
"It's unconscionable, dare I say unconstitutional, that women make 72 cents to every dollar that a man makes. And that's counting those women who have children to take care of and are single mothers. To have people like Donna Campbell say 'You've got to take care of yourself, pull yourself up by your bootstraps,' it doesn't work unless you provide opportunities."

"It would be nice if the Tea Party would read the Declaration of Independence because there are six items in there and Number Four is the general welfare of The People. Now, they didn't have MRI machines back then or the big hospitals we have now but it's obvious that healthcare has got to be a basic right of The People," Dan said. "I get so excited about this because if you have healthcare, and education, then you are able to meet your financial obligations."

Dan's dad was a mechanic who was "severely dyslexic" and dropped out of school in the 7th grade. "Means he never had an education that gave him a chance. As good as he was, as a person who was a mechanic, he never had the opportunity to get out of poverty ... so we lived in very strict financial circumstances. Way I got out of it when I graduated from high school, my out was to go into the military ... All you ask is for is a fair, flat playing field to be the best you can be," Dan said.

Income Inequality:
"When we retired here in Texas, I saw what was happening with poor people. The Republicans here have taken tremendous advantage in destroying the middle class and driving them into poverty, really."

LGBT Equality:
"I would like very much to perform the first gay or transgender marriage in the state of Texas," Dan said, immediately digging through his wallet to produce credentials as a Universalist Unitarian Church pastor. "That would make me happy," he said, noting that he also has the endorsement of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio.

Dan's military history is as meandering as is his storytelling. He first served as an enlisted man in the Navy followed by the Army then as an Air Force officer until retirement.

"You have to pay back, you honestly do. If you're going to be part of a democracy, you have to take responsibility for it and the country has a responsibility to honor its commitment to our servicemen and women."

So that is Dan's story. Now he needs your help to defeat a highly-funded Tea Party fave whose coffers will be flush with outside money. Please visit our Act Blue page and do what you can to help us take on Goliath! And do follow us on Twitter!

Originally posted to Kathy Scheidel on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, and Turning Texas: Election Digest.

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