On April 11th, voters in Texas will decide between two Democrats competing to take on Senator Kay Bailey "Cry Baby" Hutchison in November. The two candidates are:
Barbara Ann Radnofsky - http://www.radnofsky.com ; an attorney, mediator, community activist and all-around tough candidate;
What's that, you say? THE Gene Kelly is running for US Senate? In Texas? Wait a second - that couldn't be possible, right?
You're right, it's not possible -'cause Gene Kelly (the famous and beloved song-and-dance man of Hollywood fame) died in 1996. The "Gene Kelly" running on April 11th is a man who's wrecked the Democratic Party in Texas once already, and would like to do so again on April 11th. For more on this would-be nominee, and why it's important, read on...
Eugene Joseph Kelly is 80 years old. He has run 10 times before for statewide office in fourteen years, each under the name "Gene Kelly", in what have been mostly failed attempts to confuse the Democratic Party electorate in Texas into nominating him for the general election. This is what one newspaper said about him in the primary:
"Radnofsky faces two Democratic primary opponents--both of whom are only worth mentioning to keep voters from making a big mistake.
Gene Kelly is an 80-year-old retired military lawyer from Universal City who managed to win the 2000 Democratic primary by virtue of his movie star name. Kelly isn't campaigning. He won't accept campaign donations. He shuns invitations to appear at candidate forums, and to date, has presented no policies or ideas to substantiate his candidacy.
As far as we know, he can't dance. He is a spoiler, who has paid the $5,000 filing fee to get his name on the Democratic ballot, hoping disheartened, indifferent voters will waste a little ink on him come primary day."
In 2000, Kelly defeated several other little-known opponents to face Kay Bailey Hutchison. He lost by a whopping 65-33% margin - which is essentially the base vote for a Texas Democrat. In that race, too, Kelly made no speeches, raised no money and gave just one interview. And this time? " I'm not doing anything different, to be honest with you," Kelly said to a newspaper that interviewed him for the primary. Which, btw, is the only interview he did this time around too. As Barbara Ann wrote to her supporters, "Karl Rove...would love to clone Eugene Kelly."
Karl Rove doesn't want Barbara Ann Radnofsky as the Senate nominee. Admittedly, Barbara has a tough race to run against a veteran incumbent like Hutchison. But I'm sure you'd all agree with me that it's better to have an actual, fighting candidate than a comatose one. I've written extensively on Barbara beforehand, and you can read these articles to see why I support her so fervently:
http://www.dailykos.com/... (by DK Poster George)
http://www.dailykos.com/... (Barbara's efforts to support victims of Hurricane Katrina in Texas)
In the primary, Barbara got 44%, to 37% for Kelly and 19% for another non-campaign candidate. It has served as a wake-up call for the campaign, as well as for the Texas Democratic Party. Already Chris Bell and Bob Gammage - the two Gubenatorial candidates who were beating each up before Tuesday - have put their differences aside and are rallying their supporters behind Barbara. The TX Democratic Party is officially endorsing her, and press conferences are going to be held throughout the state to make Lone Star Dems aware of the disaster that can happen again.
Barbara's been conserving her campaign resources for the general election, but she's taking no chances in the runoff. In fact, the campaign just unloaded $250,000 on direct-mail and other advertisements to Texas Democratic voters. Turnout was abysmal in the primary, with fewer than 10% of Democrats going to the polls. If that happens on April 11th, "Gene Kelly" will get another joy ride at the polls against Hutchison, and we'll have blown another chance to take on the GOP in 2006.
Where, then do we come in? Barbara's going to spend what it takes to win the runoff, but she's got to be able to recoup that money once she makes it to the general election. She'll be doing her part to raise the money, but she could use all the help she can get. If you, the reader could spare a little cash for Barbara, I guarantee you she'll put the money to good use - on hammering away at the GOP on their home turf. Go to http://www.radnofsky.com if you want to give, or just to find out more about Barbara and what she will do for Texas and the US Senate.